Boston Dynamics invented a robot that can jump 4 feet in the air. It does it while moving on two wheels. It can jump over obstacles and onto tables. It can carry 45 kilograms of cargo and travel 24 kilometers on a single charge. It can roll down steps and hills. Here’s a video showing it in action:
This robot is based on the Atlas robot, but it has wheels. This model is called Handle. It is less complex than quadruped and biped robots. Replacing the legs with wheels has made it more mobile and more impressive. The president of Boston Dynamics explains further:
We’ve had the idea for building a robot that combined legs with wheels for a long time, but never had the opportunity to explore it. We started last summer and had something working in about six months. We accelerated the project by using components for power, arms, and upper body that were originally designed for Atlas…
Much of the control used in Handle leverages our team’s experience with the quadruped and biped robots. The software is not exactly the same, but the balance and dynamic control principles have a lot in common and share the same physics-based roots.
Source: IEEE Spectrum