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Google-owned robotics firm and “nightmare” factory Boston Dynamics has released video of its latest creation: a two-wheeled, four-legged hybrid robot named Handle.
The robot can stand on four legs, like Boston Dynamics’ previous creations such as BigDog and Spot. But at the end of its back two legs are two stabilised wheels, which let it stand up vertically and roll around at speeds of up to nine miles per hour. Think “Terminator riding on a hoverboard” and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the impression Handle gives off.
Google’s parent company Alphabet is reportedly looking to offload Boston Dynamics, following tensions within the company about its subsidiary’s fit within the wider corporate culture. After a previous robotics video was posted to YouTube, Google communications staff sought to distance the company from the hardware, according to emails leaked to Bloomberg News, citing the feeling that such technology could be “terrifying”.