Boston Dynamics has a knack for making dystopian robots. The company’s latest creation, though, isn’t unnerving like its nightmarish stair-climbing invention or its Black Mirror-esque robotic dogs. Its most recent innovation is unsettling because it’s angling for your job.
The robot is an updated version of the company’s “Handle” bot, which Boston Dynamics first demonstrated back in 2017. The bot is back with even more functionality that lets it autonomously stack and unstack boxes that weigh up to 33 pounds, and move them onto and around conveyor belts. It’s built-in on-board vision system lets the robot carefully monitor where the objects should go and understand how to grasp and place each box. While it’s not quite ready to be unleashed into the workforce yet, it’s clearly on track to become a tireless warehouse worker who never needs a bathroom break, won’t form a union, and will never ask for a raise.
It might put your job at risk, but at least it won’t chase you up the stairs and directly into your nightmares.