Boston Dynamics is best known for its bipedal and quadrupedal robots, but it turns out the company has also been experimenting with some radical new tech: the wheel.
The company’s new wheeled, upright robot looks like a cross between a Segway and the two-legged Atlas bot. It hasn’t been officially unveiled, but was shown off by company founder Marc Raibert in a presentation to investors. Footage of the presentation was uploaded to YouTube by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson.
Raibert describes Handle as an “experiment in combining wheels with legs, with a very dynamic system that is balancing itself all the time and has a lot of knowledge of how to throw its weight around.” He adds that using wheels is more efficient than legs, although there’s obviously a trade-off in terms of maneuvering over uneven ground. “This is the debut presentation of what I think will be a nightmare-inducing robot,” says Raibert: