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This bipedal ‘nightmare-inducing’ bot proves how creepy yet amazing robots are becoming

(TECH NEWS) There is no denying this prototype is impressive, but its implications are perhaps more haunting than the powerful agility of these robots.


Creating a monster

Do you find yourself sleeping too well at night? If so, check out the leaked footage of Handle, Boston Dynamics’ new robot. It’s nimble. It’s quick. It’s way more Terminator than Westworld, and it will careen right through your peace of mind.



Google-owned Boston Dynamics is the leading manufacturer of human simulation software and tools. The company creates some of the world’s most advanced robots, like last year’s Atlas robot, but their latest bi-pedal beast is an unprecedented feat.

Raibert himself describes Handle as “nightmare-inducing”, and one can only assume this comment is based on experience.

In case you’re hesitant to watch it for yourself, the video shows Handle careening across various rooms and a grassy knoll before leaping over a barrier. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Watch it.

According to Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert, Handle is an experiment in combining wheels with legs. “This is more efficient than a robot with legs, it can carry a reasonably heavy load on a small footprint,” Raibert explains. The hope is for Handle to eventually “handle” objects as an efficient factory worker. Think Handle is frightening? How about an entire warehouse full of Handle’s brethren?

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This chilling footage was filmed at a private Boston Dynamics presentation to investors, and leaked on YouTube by saucy venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, who was promptly scolded by the company:

What else can it do?

@dfjsteve @YouTube update: Boston Dynamics has since asked me to blur out that section of the video. Sorry. It was way cool.

Handle is constantly balancing itself, using wheels at the bottom of its lower limbs to maneuver about quickly. It has a deep knowledge of how to distribute its weight to successfully pull off stunts like the one caught on video. Although Handle can only travel across flat surfaces, this is probably for the best — imagine that thing scaling a wall.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Boston Dynamics’ prototype is impressive, but its implications are more haunting than its agility.” quote=”There is no denying Boston Dynamics’ latest prototype is impressive, but its implications are perhaps more haunting than its powerful agility.”]

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First it’s Handle the warehouse worker handling cargo, then what? Handle the investment banker handling money? Chief Handle handling the New York Police Department? President Handle handling an administration of more Handles? Maybe this is what Raibert has nightmares about.


Written By

Helen Irias is a Staff Writer at The American Genius with a degree in English Literature from University of California, Santa Barbara. She works in marketing in Silicon Valley and hopes to one day publish a comically self-deprecating memoir that people bring up at dinner parties to make themselves sound interesting.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Xertron

    February 7, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    I need Handle to make me cappuccini. Most humans bungle it, and when they don’t they whine about how much work it is. I need a robot that will make me a cappuccino without talking back, 24×7. The robot needs to make it before I ask, and it needs to be perfect. If you can do all that, I’ll gladly pay.

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