Boston Dynamic’s new 2-wheeled ‘Handle’ robot can handle just about anything

Take a Segway, add a Terminator, then blend

You might remember how we got a sneak peek about a month ago at Handle, the new robot from Google’s Boston Dynamics, creators of some of the coolest-slash-scariest robots to walk the earth. Well, Handle doesn’t walk, it rolls, and now Boston Dynamics has released an official video for the amazing machine, and it’s just as unsettling and as fascinating as ever.

Standing 6 foot 6 inches tall and rolling on what looks like two wheels stolen off a golf bag dolly, Handle can do some incredible things. Check out its ability to navigate this uneven surface test – no problem. Lift 100 pounds with it’s T-Rex arms? Done. Think you can run down some stairs to get away from it? Think again. Handle can quickly zip to its maximum speed of nine miles an hour, and again, since it’s on those efficient wheels, BD says it has fifteen miles of range on a charge.

And then there’s this: Handle has a 48-inch vertical leap, which is pretty close to what top-tier NBA players can bust out during a dunk contest. So if there’s ever a robot basketball league – and there totally should be – you can bet Handle and friends could dial up some rim-shakers. Despite it looking like it’s ready for production, Handle is actually a research project, and Google is still trying to sell Boston Dynamics, something they should really reconsider.

Split decision

Hey, only six months to go until the iPhone 8, or iPhone X, or iPhone 10, or whatever it ends up being called arrives, and two hot new rumors have just bubbled up, this time from the Wall Street Journal. The hot tips? They say that Apple is going to ditch their proprietary Lightning connector for the more industry-standard USB-C port, and we can also say goodbye to the home button. Well, truth be told, if Apple did go with USB-C connector for the iPhon, we’d be all for it.

It works essentially just like the lightning cable by connecting either way, and we think the rumor has legs since Apple has strongly adopted the port on its latest line of laptop computers. It has the transfer speed and power abilities needed for data and charging, and let’s face it, everyone else is using it or will be using it, which would greatly expand the universe of peripherals the phone could use. So we hope that rumor is true. But no home button?  We’ll see.

There goes all your free time (again)

Love some Xbox gaming but all those spendy games aren’t in your budget? Good news: Microsoft has announced Xbox Game Pass, a new subscription service they say will give gamers access to over one hundred Xbox and Xbox 360 titles. Games will include Halo 5: Guardians,  NBA 2K16, Lego Batman, Gears of War, Fable III, PayDay 2 and dozens more for just $10 a month, or eight pounds if you’re in the UK.

They also say more titles will be added as time goes on. Sounds like a solid deal to us. You’ll need an Xbox One console to play and you can start retreating from society for those marathon Halo session starting in “late spring” of this year, according to Microsoft.


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