The results? Almost a year and half of choreography, simulation, programming and upgrades that were capped by two days of filming to produce a video running at less than 3 minutes. The clip, showing robots dancing to the 1962 hit “Do You Love Me?” by The Contours, was an instant hit on social media, attracting more than 23 million views during the first week.
It shows two of Boston Dynamics’ humanoid Atlas research robots doing the twist, the mashed potato and other classic moves, joined by Spot, a doglike robot, and Handle, a wheeled robot designed for lifting and moving boxes in a warehouse or truck.
Boston Dynamics founder and chairperson Marc Raibert says what the robot maker learned was far more valuable.
“It turned out that we needed to upgrade the robot in the middle of development in order for it to be strong enough and to have enough energy to do the whole performance without stopping. So that was a real benefit to the design,” Raibert says.
The difficult challenge of teaching robots to dance also pushed Boston Dynamics engineers to develop better motion-programming tools that let robots reconcile balance, bouncing and doing a performance simultaneously.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
4 SMALLBUSINESS INNOVATIONS THAT WILL OUTLAST THE PANDEMIC
Small businesses that survived the COVID-19 pandemic still face a long road to recovery, but some of the innovations business owners adopted last year may outlast the pandemic itself.
CHINA SAYS US REVOKING OF CHINA APPS BAN A ‘POSITIVE STEP'
China’s Ministry of Commerce said that a U.S. move to revoke the Trump administration’s executive orders intended to ban apps like TikTok and WeChat was a “positive step,” amid strained relations between the two countries.
EYING DEAL, GM SOFTENS ON TOUGH STANDARDS FOR CAR POLLUTION
The nation’s largest automaker said Wednesday it can support greenhouse gas emissions limits that other car manufacturers negotiated with California — if they are achieved mostly by promoting sales of fully electric vehicles.
FERRARI TAPS EUROPEAN CHIP-MAKER EXECUTIVE AS NEW CEO
Luxury sports carmaker Ferrari has tapped Benedetto Vigna, an Italian executive at Europe’s largest semiconductor chipmaker, as its new CEO, the company announced this week.
OWN AN ECHO? AMAZON MAY BE HELPING ITSELF TO YOUR BANDWIDTH
Do you own an Amazon smart device? If so, odds are good that the company is already sharing your internet connection with your neighbors unless you’ve specifically told it not to.
STARTUP LORDSTOWN MOTORS WARNS IT MAY NOT STAY IN BUSINESS
Startup commercial electric vehicle maker Lordstown Motors says it may not be in business a year from now as it tries to secure funding to start full production of an electric pickup truck.
GERMANY STARTS ROLLING OUT A DIGITAL EU VACCINATION PASS
Germany on Thursday started rolling out a digital vaccination pass that can be used across Europe as the continent gets ready for the key summer travel season.
SCIENTISTS HAIL GOLDEN AGE TO TRACE BIRD MIGRATION WITH TECH
A plump robin wearing a tiny metal backpack with antenna hops around a suburban yard in Takoma Park then plucks a cicada from the ground for a snack.
GLOBAL WAR ON RANSOMWARE? HURDLES HINDER THE US RESPONSE
Foreign keyboard criminals with scant fear of repercussions have paralyzed U.S. schools and hospitals, leaked highly sensitive police files, triggered fuel shortages, and, most recently, threatened global food supply chains.
SENATE PASSES BILL TO BOOST US TECH INDUSTRY, COUNTER RIVALS
The Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that aims to boost U.S. semiconductor production and the development of artificial intelligence and other technology in the face of growing international competition, most notably from China.