What if robots took over the world? Economists project that by the year 2030, robots could take on over 20 million of the manufacturing jobs across the globe. When you think about it, it’s a pretty far cry from how things were a few centuries ago, when robots and self-driving cars were a figment of the imagination. Now, not only can robots help out with various tasks, they can also perform for people’s entertainment.
It seems that modern robots can do everything—from sorting food, helping train doctors and cleaning up rooms to helping people with their shopping. In fact, some robots can even throw down some mean dance moves, as seen in the year-end video released by Boston Dynamics showcasing the latest development on its robots.
Founded in 1992, Boston Dynamics is an American robotics and engineering company, which has developed and created various robots over the years such as the BigDog, the LittleDog, the Cheetah, the LS3, and Spot, all of which were patterned after four-legged animals. In December 2020, the Hyundai Motor Group acquired Boston Dynamics, which raises questions as to how the robotics company would move forward in the coming months.
Boston Dynamics has also developed bipedal robots like the PETMAN, which was its first robot designed to move like a real person; Atlas, its massive humanoid robot designed for search-and-rescue tasks (and the star of the company’s hit dance video); and Handle, its most recent creation that also makes an appearance halfway through the same video.
The video first shines the spotlight on the Atlas robot’s agility while it dances to The Contours’ hit “Do You Love Me.” It also performs some of the most popular dance moves in history such as The Twist and The Mashed Potato, among other things. The Atlas robot can stand and move almost effortlessly, jump up and down, and even balance on one foot, doing all of these with flair and a skip in its step.
Later on in the video, it is joined by another Atlas robot and a Spot robot, both executing the choreography without missing a beat. The Handle robot also makes a short appearance where it is seen grooving with the Spot robot. The video gives off a happy vibe and it is certainly easy to get carried away with the fun and lighthearted video. You may even find yourself tapping your foot to The Contours’ cheery tune as you watch.
However, stories like this often beg the question: what can robots do next? Are we headed toward a future where, when we head out onto the dance floor, we would be whirled and twirled by a robot?
I, for one, am excited to see how engineers further develop their robots. Who knows—we may one day have robots as part of our everyday lives and see them do more human-like activities.
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