Boston Dynamics' robots, Spot and Atlas, have collaborated with the famous K-pop boy band BTS in the latest viral video.
Hyundai celebrated its final stage of acquiring the rights to Boston Dynamics, which began in 2020.
Boston Dynamics and BTS Collaboration
BTS and Boston Dynamics' robots, Spot and Atlas, danced to BTS' 2020 song "IONIQ: I'm On It." In the viral video, fans can see Spot's smooth dance moves that impressed BTS themselves.
A second video released by Hyundai showed BTS celebrating the full acquisition of Boston Dynamics alongside Spot the robot. The BTS members and Spot came together for a short dance-off, according to The Verge.
In a blog post, Hyundai shared some behind-the-scenes events. Hyundai detailed how the robots pulled off the longer dance routine, which involved precise programming.
In the blog post, Eric Whitman, a roboticist from Boston Dynamics, said that everything had to be worked out in advance, and they needed to be scripted precisely.
Hyundai has also worked again with Monica Thomas, the professional choreographer who the company worked with on its previous dancing robot videos, to plan out Spot's dance moves.
Marc Raibert, the founder and chairman of Boston Dynamics, explained why the company keeps making these videos. He said that the dance performance stresses the mechanical design of the robot, and it also stresses the algorithms in the software.
Raibert also noted that the dance routines force the company to create new tools to program the company's robots, just like the Choreographer software used during the dance-off.
The Choreographer software has been released to the public and is already being used by other Boston Dynamics robot owners for entertainment purposes.
The second reason for the dance videos, according to Raibert, is that they tend to go viral. The last dancing video released by the company hit 32 million views on YouTube.
The recent video, where the robots collaborated with BTS, is currently raking thousands of views per hour, according to Engadget.
Since Boston Dynamics is trying to get tech companies to buy Spot robots that cost around $74,500 each, it is understandable why the company wants to spread the word and get their name out there.
The dancing videos also help show off the playful side of the robots, changing the stereotype that robots are just good for labor.
NYPD's Robot Dog
In May, the New York Police Department had tried the robot dog built by Boston Dynamics. However, the trial was cut short after the police department received backlash from the public, saying that the robot dog symbolizes the unnecessary militarization of the police.
The New York Police Department began leasing the robot dog named Digidog in 2020. NYPD's Frank Digiacomo told ABC7 that the robot dog was meant to save lives, protect people, and protect the police offers.
During its entire tenure, the robot was deployed half a dozen times, mostly acting as a mobile camera in hostile environments.
Many people saw the robot as a symbol of wasteful police spending and aggressive tactics developed by law enforcement.
One of the critics of this decision was NYC Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who tweeted in February, "Now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools."
Shout out to everyone who fought against community advocates who demanded these resources go to investments like school counseling instead.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 25, 2021
Now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools 👍🏽 https://t.co/ZqKtnexctb
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Written by Sophie Webster