Watch out! These robots can take you on at the dance floor

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The robots from Boston Dynamics exhibited impressive dance moves in a new video

The robots named Atlas and Spot from Boston Dynamics, the American engineering and robotics design company, can do a lot of things including sprinting, gymnastic routines, parkour, backflips, open doors to let in people and wash dishes.

But the company’s latest video adds another impressive trick to these robots – they are ready to take humans at the dance floor with well coordinated, stylish moves.

The video shows the entire lineup of robots from Boston Dynamics including the humanoid Atlas, the dog-shaped Spot, and the box-juggling Handle, all come together in a fun, coordinated dance routine to the song “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 latest video takes things to another level, with the Atlas robot tearing it up on the dance floor by smoothly running, jumping, shuffling, and twirling through different moves.

Things get even more incredible as more robots join the floor, moving around in the kind of coordinated dance routine that can put average human dancers to shame. Compared to the jerky movements of the 2016 iteration of Atlas, the new model is much more perfect and lifelike with its moves.

Boston Dynamics was recently purchased by South Korean automotive manufacturer 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 (MIT), where it became known for its dog-like quadrupedal robots. 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.