Boston Dynamics’ Atlas and Spot robots can do a lot of things: sprinting, gymnastic routines, parkour, backflips, open doors to let in an army of their friends, wash dishes, and (poorly) get actual jobs. But the company’s latest video adds another impressive trick to our future robotic overlords’ repertoire: busting sick dance moves.
The video sees Boston Dynamics entire lineup of robots — the humanoid Atlas, the dog-shaped Spot, and the box-juggling Handle — all come together in a bopping, coordinated dance routine set to The Contours’ “Do You Love Me.”
It’s not the first time Boston Dynamics has shown off its robots’ dancing skills: the company showcased a video of its Spot robot doing the Running Man to “Uptown Funk” in 2018. but the new video takes things to another level, with the Atlas robot tearing it up on the dance floor: smoothly running, jumping, shuffling, and twirling through different moves.
Things get even more incredible as more robots file out, prancing around in the kind of coordinated dance routine that puts my own, admittedly awful human dancing to shame. Compared to the jerky movements of the 2016 iteration of Atlas, the new model almost looks like a CGI creation.
Boston Dynamics was recently purchased by Hyundai, which bought the robotics firm from SoftBank in a $1.1 billion deal. The company was originally founded in 1992 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where it became known for its dog-like quadrupedal robots (most notably, the DARPA-funded BigDog, a precursor to the company’s first commercial robot, Spot.) It was bought by Alphabet’s X division in 2013, and then by Softbank in 2017.
While the Atlas and Handle robots featured here are still just research prototypes, Boston Dynamics has recently started selling the Spot model to any company for the considerable price of $74,500. But can you really put a price on creating your own personal legion of boogieing robot minions?