Boston Dynamics stuns us again with rolling ‘Handle’ robot

Hopefully, good Karma for the bottom line, too

After a three-month hiatus that saw GoPro’s Karma drone miss the entire holiday shopping season, the quadcopter is now back up for sale. Rolled out to great fanfare last fall, GoPro eventually recalled every Karma they sold after reports that the compact 4K–shooting aircraft were dropping out of the sky mid-flight. GoPro says a problem with the battery contact system was to blame, and the Karmas on sale now have been redesigned.

That’s good news for drone pilots – and GoPro, of course – as the Karma has many cutting edge features – plus a handy small size. A base Karma setup will run you $800, adding a GoPro camera if you don’t already have one adds a few hundred more.

Is a tech company shopping spree in the works from Apple?

Apple is feeling the love after reporting a robust quarter that saw sales of the iPhone 7 and the new touch bar Mac power profits to over $7 billion. And that’s just for the last quarter.

Apple says they shipped over 5 million of the new MacBooks, which reversed a key trend of declining Mac sales. And all the doomsayers moaning about iPhone sales number? Wrong again: Sales were even higher than analysts expected, but iPad tablet sales numbers did keep sliding.

The good news punched up Apple’s stock by almost six percent, which added another $36 billion to Apple’s market cap – in just one day.

Tim Cook and company are also sitting on nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in cash, meaning they could buy some small countries or perhaps some well-known tech targets: some rumors suggest Apple could be eyeing Netflix or another big media player to jump-start their content creation plans.

And on the horizon: The new iPhone 8, which many feel could be a monster hit for Apple later this year. During the earnings call, Cook said “exciting things” were on tap for the new iPhone and also for the iPad line, so this could be an even bigger year for Apple.

OMG, did that robot just…. yep, it did

Remember Boston Dynamics? They’re the team that came up with robots that can be Skynet-nightmare inducing creations, even though we secretly love them.

Well, after Google scooped up the company in 2013, a video of their Atlas humanoid robot went viral and Google decided that, maybe they didn’t want to be accused of launching Skynet deathbots after all, and put the company back up for sale. However, Alphabet has been unable to shed Boston Dynamics, and now, the BD team has revealed a new future overlord of a robot, known as Handle.

Looking like a cross between the Atlas humanoid bot, a Segway and a mechanical T-Rex, the self-balancing Handle is another materials-handling robot that Boston Dynamics says is much more efficient than its legged robots because, of course, it has wheels for legs. Cool as it is, we’re sure some Alphabet folks are face-palming themselves right now after Boston Dynamics presenter and founder Marc Raibert called Handle “nightmare-inducing” during the presentation.

OK maybe it is, but like a lot of nightmares, it’s pretty hard to look away, and we gotta say, Boston Dynamics never fails to amaze us at the same time it’s giving us the willies.

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