Boston Dynamics – the producers of the favorite robots of all those who can run, backflip and generally disconcert the human population – returns with their latest robot: a "reimagined" version of their robot Handle of 2017. And this Once, it's really really good to stack boxes.
The original Handle was designed largely as an experiment that applied the know-how of the Boston Dynamics robot (usually used for bipedal or quadruped robots) to one with wheels. However, the new version seems much more polished, by applying the original to a really useful machine that can automatically load and unload pallets of products in a warehouse, as shown in the video. It's easy to see Handle's applications in warehouse work automation (like, for example, Amazon's compliance centers), with robot fleets circling and grabbing boxes to build a perfect giant stack.
From a technical point of view, says Boston Dynamics that handle can have a life of boxes of up to 30 pounds (although the video used boxes of approximately 12 pounds) and can stack pallets up to 4 feet deep and up to 5 , 5 feet tall. On-board vision systems help you manage the search boxes to grab and track which pallets you are supposed to take them to and from. Add that all up and it means that Handle could probably crush him in Giant Jenga.
Like many of the Boston Dynamics projects, Handle is still just a prototype for now. The company has not announced any plans to convert it into a commercial Product at the moment.