Nobody can be certain if there will be some kind of Terminator-like robot takeover in the future, but if there is, Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics is doing a great job of setting itself up as the real-life Cyberdyne Systems. If last year's Atlas demonstration didn't cement that idea for you, maybe this leaked glimpse of Boston Dynamics' newest bot will. Because this one has wheels. And it leaps over obstacles like something that's on a mission...
Video of the wheeled robot, which comes via Gizmodo, was posted to YouTube by Steve Jurvetson. Jurvetson is a prominent venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, who also apparently loves to post videos of Boston Dynamics robot videos with palpably enthusiastic commentary. Unfortunately, Jurvetson may have become a bit too overzealous in this case, as Boston Dynamics asked him to censor the wheeled robot in the original video (top).
— Steve Jurvetson (@dfjsteve) February 1, 2017
Some glimpses of the robot, dubbed Handle, are still available however, and the speech Marc Raibart (founder of Boston Dynamics) gives still paints a clear image of what this thing's supposed to do:
kill Sarah Conner demonstrate a dynamic yet stable robot that can "handle" objects.
Raibart notes that Handle the "nightmare-inducing robot" — Black Mirror episode? — "is an experiment in combining wheels with legs, with a very dynamic system that is balancing itself all the time." He adds that "[Handle] is much more efficient than a legged robot... [and] can carry a reasonably heavy load on a small footprint..."
In the video, Raibart also shows off SpotMini, which has an arm and a grabber that it uses on stage to locate and grab a can. And while the designs of SpotMini and Handle and even Atlas may be disparate, it's clear that Boston Dynamics has one goal in mind:
kill John Connor develop a very flexible industrial robot that can serve as a robotic warehouse worker.
What do you think about Handle? Is he going to team up with Atlas to take on "Hockey Stick Guy"? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images: YouTube / Steve Jurvetson