Boston Dynamics just officially introduced its new robot with impressive skills worthy of a professional athlete. Handle is a robot with wheels which can roll, spin, jump, and pick up boxes with ease.
Handle was first revealed through a leak which surfaced in early February. This time, Boston Dynamics released the official video showcasing Handle and its many skills. The research robot has human-like legs with 10 actuated joints along with wheels for its feet. The wheels, however, can supposedly be replaced with leg stilts. Handle is powered by electricity. One full charge gives the robot about 15 miles of travel.
As Popular Mechanics reported, Handle can move as fast as 9 miles per hour. Its design allows it to roll smoothly over certain surfaces such as pavement, snow, grass, hills and even on stairs. One of its more impressive capabilities is jumping over obstacles. Handle can reportedly jump as high as four feet. In the video released by Boston Dynamics, Handle can be seen jumping onto a table with ease before rolling forward on top of it.
Standing 6'5" tall and possessing a vertical leap of 48 inches, Handle has the tools to make it the National Basketball association, as SB Nation noted. That is if it was a real person. For the sake comparison, the highest vertical elevation among former and current NBA players belong to the late great Wilt Chamberlain and retired highflyer Darrell Griffith. Both former ballers jumped as high as 48 inches, similar to Handle. Basketball legend Michael Jordan and current guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Zach LaVine, are at the third spot with a 46-inch vertical.
There's an ongoing debate as to the possible effects of such robots to humankind. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said before that automation and robots will take jobs away from their human counterparts. A group of robotic scientists fears the worst. They think that a "Terminator Conundrum" is possible because some major powers wish to incorporate AI, robotics, and automation in their weapons.