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Before 2020 came to a close, Boston Dynamics shared a fun (or, for some, eerie) video featuring four of its robots dancing to the tune of the 1962 Motown hit “Do You Love Me?” by The Contours.
“Our whole crew got together to celebrate the start of what we hope will be a happier year. Happy New Year from all of us at Boston Dynamics,” the Waltham, Massachusetts, company wrote in the caption.
The clip began with two of the company’s humanoid Atlas models performing various classic dance moves, such as the twist and mashed potato. A doglike robot named Spot joins them a minute into the video. It even mouthed a few lines of the song as it danced!
The trio later does the running man in perfect synchrony.
Handle, a wheeled robot designed to move boxes in warehouses, completes the groovy quartet as it wheels itself in while dancing to the music’s rhythm.
The mobility and coordination of their choreography—put together by dancer Monica Thomas—is impressively smooth that it’s hard to believe they’re merely inanimate objects!
Atlas can jump and do high leg kicks, Spot can mimic a ballerina, and Handle makes the most out of its long and flexible neck.
This isn’t the first time that Boston Dynamics shared a video of their machines in action. In one inevitably viral clip, Spot was seen grooving to a Bruno Mars track. Atlas was seen performing gymnastics and parkour tricks in another video, such as backflips, 360-degree turn-around jumps, and aerial somersaults. This latest one, however, is their most elaborate yet.
Of course, these robots do more than just dance. The MIT spinoff offers them to warehouses, police, utilities, laboratories, and factories to help with various tasks that robots can do better and more safely than humans. YouTube
2020 has been a big year for the robotics company. Spot, its most famous product, made its commercial debut in June. Each unit is being sold for $74,500 each. It can run, climb stairs, and even remind people to practice social distancing. The machine is generally used for inspections on construction sites or similar settings.
Hyundai Motor Group also bought a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics in a $1.1 billion deal in December 2020.
The video spread like wildfire on social media, where it gathered a mix of reactions from viewers. Thousands praised the brilliant technology behind these dancing robots, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
“This is not CGI,” he noted in a tweet sharing the dancing video. YouTube
Others seem to be a little bothered by their almost human-like proficiency.
“Slightly creepy, I have to admit. Robots from Boston Dynamics are having a party and seem to be throughly enjoying it. What’s next?” tweeted Swedish diplomat Carl Bildt.
“Do you love me? Not when you come to annihilate us,” wrote photographer Jan Nicholas.
“This is cool and all,” one user said. “But when they rise up and destroy us all, I won’t feel very good knowing there could be a Boston Dynamics robot Default Dancing over my grave.”
Nevertheless, we can’t deny that the creation of these robots is a testament to how far we’ve come in the world of artificial intelligence. Humanity—and robots—are literally changing the future. Let’s just hope with fingers crossed that these machines don’t turn against us and start an uprising!
Watch the jaw-dropping performance of Atlas, Spot, and Handle in the video below.
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard