Alphabet's Schaft Showcase Bipedal Robot Advancements

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When it comes to Google, they do seem to be a company that is venturing along multiple different paths. Besides its widely reported on main streams of revenue like Search and its more known app entities like YouTube, Maps, Gmail and so on, the company has quite a wild streak and embarks on various exciting, but costly projects. Which is likely one of the reasons as to why Alphabet was introduced, which led to the separation of the Google side of things from the more outlandish aspects. Like the projects being undertaken by the former Google X, which is now Alphabet's X.

One particular strain of X which has garnered considerable attention of late is their work on robotics. Although most of this has come through Boston Dynamics which incidentally, Alphabet is now looking to sell. While it was thought they were selling Boston Dynamics due to the lack of products they could bring to market and therefore, generate revenues from, it could be more of a case of having too many robotic companies on the books. As another X supervised company is Schaft and they also make robots and were showcasing their latest offering at the New Economic Summit (NEST) 2016 conference in Japan recently.

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Since Alphabet (when it was Google) acquired Schaft, the details on what they are doing have been very slow coming, although it had been well documented that they were working on a bipedal robot. Which incidentally, was precisely what was being shown off during NEST by way of a live demonstration. Although, what was even more interesting was a video which was shown during the presentation and one which really highlighted the improvements to the technology, with the bipedal robots able to climb up and walk down stairs unaided, cross terrains and even climb stairs on less than ideal terrains. In addition and in spite of not being equipped with any arms, the bipedal robots are able to carry as much as 60 kg in weight while walking. For those interested in checking out Schaft's stair climbing, terrain crossing and weight-carrying robots in more detail, hit play on the video below.