Meet Handle, the New Boston Dynamics Robot Here to Fill You With Dread

Just because Boston Dynamics’s new robot can perform a “Breakfast Club” homage doesn’t make Handle any less terrifying.

byWill Sabel Courtney|
Culture photo

Every so often, we enjoy reporting on the latest developments from the world of robotics with, shall we say, a bit of hyperbole. Some of it stems from a deep-seated human fear of being replaced by machines; some of it comes from the demonic buzzing many of them make; some of it comes from watching Terminator 2: Judgement Day at what, in retrospect, may have been too young an age. 

We bring this up because, on an aesthetic level, the new Boston Dynamics robot called Handle is actually a lot less intimidating than many of the Massachusetts-based robotics company's past works.  Switching from legs to wheels for propulsion pushes it out of the uncanny valley of mobility, allowing us to mentally relegate it to the realm of helpful machines like wheelchairs and Segways.

But when you stop to think about it...

Handle is the most terrifying Boston Dynamics robot yet.

Those wheels that make it seem so much more agreeable to the eye? Yeah, they also make it fast enough to chase you down. It's strong enough to lift 100 pounds of weight and haul it around like nothing. It can climb down stairs in half the time a human can. It can even jump high enough to recreate the final shot of The Breakfast Club...or hop onto a table like a Velociraptor in Jurassic Park

Yeah, this thing's gonna kill us.