Boston Dynamics have just released a video of their Handle robot performing a package picking and pallet stacking task in a warehouse. The packages in the video weigh around 5 kg, but the company says the robot can handle items as heavy as 15 kg. It uses on-board vision to identify packages and force feedback to pack them tightly together on the pallet. It can handle pallets as large as 1.2 metres on an edge stacked 1.7 metres tall.
The Handle has two wheels and balances by pivoting its body to control the centre of gravity. It has just ten actuated joints, and is thus substantially simpler and less expensive than their bipedal or quadruped robots. It uses both electric and hydraulic actuators, powered by an on-board battery which gives it a range of around 24 km on one charge. The robot stands 2 metres tall and weighs 105 kg.
It does not require a US$ 15/hour minimum wage and is guaranteed not to vote to join a union.
Here is another video demonstrating the agility of Handle.