Great, Now Boston Dynamics' Eerie Humanoid Robots Can Dance Better Than Us
This choreographed dance number is no mere bot scootin' boogie.
Boston Dynamics isn't done teaching their bizarrely human- and animal-like robots new tricks. Their latest? Shakin' mechanical booty.
The company dropped this slick dance number set to The Contours' "Do You Love Me?" to show off their robots' latest capabilities today, which isn't just "more rhythm than me." That's a low bar. What's impressive here is the fluidity of the movement, which looks much more natural than it did just a couple years ago.
Are they trying to get all of us to let our guard down? Making endearingly cute dance numbers is definitely how to slip increasingly capable robots past all of humanity until one day, they're pushing us over with hockey sticks.
The movement in this dance number looks so slick that The Drive's staff debated at length as to whether at least part of this was rendered. We reached out to Boston Dynamics to settle that debate (and will update this if we hear back), but this miniature Botsby Berkeley production is right in line with similar videos they've put out recently, albeit with even smoother movements.
We've previously seen Spot the dog-like robot do similar moves to Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk," their most anthropoid robot Atlas jump, backflip and roll over obstacles like a ninja, and its wheeled Handle robot twirl around fast enough to put figure skaters on notice.
The range of motion on display in these dance moves is particularly impressive given where Boston Dynamics' tech was just five years ago, where its Spot-style robot wasn't a sleek thin yellow-cased puppers, but rather, a bigger bot with jerkier movements. In 2016, Atlas was still awkwardly lifting boxes with all the grace of your arthritic uncle and struggling to keep its balance walking in the snow. Getting back up after it was pushed over took a while, too.
That being said, no amount of posterior-counterweight-shaking can hide the fact that Spot grew a creepy snake-like head on its long neck for this video. It looks like a functional grabber-claw for the four-legged bot, but I'm still going to have nightmares all week about a dystopian future full of robot snake-dogs. Thanks again, Boston Dynamics!
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