Boston Dynamics' robot is 'nightmare inducing'

The company's Handle robot has been leaked in a video after it was shown to investors

Boston Dynamics has unofficially unveiled a robot that it describes as 'nightmare-inducing' thanks to its leg and wheel combination.

Handle, as the unit is apparently called, is a cross between a Segway and the Atlas Robot, but the combination of wheels at the bottom of the legs make it more manoeuvrable. It also has two arms, although they weren't shown in use.

Boston Dynamics' founder, Marc Raibert, revealed the robot at the company's investor presentation and although it hasn't been officially announced, a video shown to those in attendance certainly does look a little scary. He introduced the video as "the debut presentation of what I think will be a nightmare-inducing robot".

Raibert said it's an "experiment in combining wheels with legs, with a very dynamic system that is balancing itself all the time and has a lot of knowledge of how to throw its weight around".

The wheels are more efficient for getting around compared to legs, meaning it can move faster, but the limbs make it more human-like, which is the part Boston Dynamics expects to scare people. The company explained Handle could be used in warehouses, zooming around and collecting items for shipments or delivering goods to a production line, for example.

The video was uploaded to YouTube by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson who was watching the presentation with other investors. However, shortly after adding the video to the video streaming site, Jurvetson was asked to blur it out by Boston Dynamics. He did comply, but not before the web had transformed the video into animated gifs for all to see.

Boston Dynamics was acquired by Google's parent company, Alphabet in December 2013 when it was still operating under the Google name and although it tried to sell the company last year, with potential purchases rumoured as Toyota and Amazon, it would seem nothing came of it and Boston Dynamics is still innovating with new robotic ideas within Alphabet.

Main image credit: Boston Dynamics

Featured Resources

Navigating the new normal: A fast guide to remote working

A smooth transition will support operations for years to come

Download now

Leading the data race

The trends driving the future of data science

Download now

How to create 1:1 customer experiences at scale

Meet the technology capable of delivering the personalisation your customers crave

Download now

How to achieve daily SAP releases

Accelerate the pace of SAP change to support your digital strategy

Download now

Recommended

The future tech helping battle the pandemic
Technology

The future tech helping battle the pandemic

11 Aug 2020
Robots are supposed to steal our jobs – so why haven’t they during the coronavirus crisis?
artificial intelligence (AI)

Robots are supposed to steal our jobs – so why haven’t they during the coronavirus crisis?

13 Jul 2020
Boston Dynamics announces commercial sales of Spot Robot
automation

Boston Dynamics announces commercial sales of Spot Robot

19 Jun 2020
Changing the Games: Why Tokyo 2020 will be the most technologically advanced Olympics yet
digital transformation

Changing the Games: Why Tokyo 2020 will be the most technologically advanced Olympics yet

23 Mar 2020

Most Popular

Google Pixel 4a review: A picture-perfect package
Google Android

Google Pixel 4a review: A picture-perfect package

18 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020