Boston Dynamics, formerly owned by Alphabet (Google), has developed at new type of robot. It “walks” on two legs, but instead of the typical walking motion, it has wheels instead of feet. So it moves around sort of like someone on skates or roller blades. It self-balances like a Segway, and each wheel is individually powered. The robot can lift, carry, jump, pretty much anything. It’s called “Handle.”
The video from the presentation was leaked, as it wasn’t supposed to be seen by anyone not in attendance. The guy giving the presentation even called it “nightmare-inducing.” It seems like it’s meant to be used in some kind of environment that doesn’t have debris to navigate (like a lot of the 2 and 4 legged military bots), so perhaps it’s a sort of “helper bot” for warehouses or anywhere that’s mostly flat. Despite the terrain limitations, it can still jump over short walls or other obstacles of a decent height. It also moves pretty quickly, and does kind of look scary as it shifts its weight back and forth to go around curves. Here’s the leaked video below.
The demonstration starts at 3:45
You can see in the rest of their demo video that their bots all seem to be designed as “helpers,” as in lifting, moving, carrying boxes and other items.