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Boston Dynamics’ latest robot has wheels and can jump over things

The Alphabet-owned robotics firm Boston Dynamics has unveiled its latest creation.

Its name is Handle. Handle has wheels, the agility of a top rollerblader and the speed and virtual leaping ability of a professional basketball player.

Handle is awesome and far less intimidating than the humanoid bipedal Atlas predecessor. It’s more Johnny 5 meets Tony Hawk than The Terminator.

“Handle is a research robot that stands 6.5 ft tall, travels at 9 mph and jumps 4​ ​feet vertically. ​It uses electric power to operate both electric and hydraulic actuators, with a range of about 15 miles on one battery charge,” the company says.

“​Handle uses many of the same dynamics, balance and mobile manipulation principles​ found in the quadruped and biped robots we build, but with only about 10 actuated joints, it is significantly less complex. Wheels are efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds.”

The more fun and friendly appeal might be a sign Boston Dynamics is beginning to understand that its robots were giving people the willies.

This time last year, the firm sparked a controversy by posting videos showing employees bullying the Atlas robot.

Following the publishing of the video, Alphabet reportedly sought to distance itself from Boston Dynamics.

One report from Bloomberg claimed Alphabet was seeking to sell the firm with Toyota among the interested parties.

Do you want a Handle? Share your thoughts below

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