BTS dances with a robot dog. The Hyundai Motor Group arranged this on the occasion of the takeover of the US robot company Boston Dynamics, as videos show. BTS is a popular Korean boy band. The companies want to demonstrate, among other things, what controlled movements the robots are capable of while maintaining their balance.
Boston Dynamics already published a video of a dancing robot at the end of 2020, which generated over 32 million views on YouTube in less than half a year. For this purpose, the manufacturer has developed the freely available software Choreographer, with which the robots can be programmed with the dance movements. This software was also used for the most recent video.
Dancing as a stress test
However, the dance movements were created by a professional choreographer. Then they were animated with Autodesk Maya, whereby the physical and mechanical requirements of the robot were already taken into account. Then the dance steps were programmed into the robot dog Spot with a choreographer.
According to Marc Raibert, founder and chairman of Boston Dynamics, “a sporting performance like dance puts a strain on the mechanical design of the robot and also puts a strain on the algorithms in the software”. On the one hand, the dances are permanently programmed, while the robots independently recognize their surroundings in practical use and react accordingly.
On the other hand, dance tests have shown that the robots’ knees can be damaged if too much force is applied. According to its own blog post, the company is therefore looking for new materials for the robot legs.
Robot dance as positive opinion making
Last week, Hyundai completed the acquisition of Boston Dynamics to advance the Group’s strategic transformation into a “Smart Mobility Solution Provider”. In addition, Hyundai has already invested in things like autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, urban aviation and smart factories.
Hyundai already worked with the boy group BTS in 2020 to advertise the Ioniq electric car. The result was the music video “IONIQ: I’m On It”. This video has now been reissued with dancing robot dogs. The aim is to present the robots in a more positive light than the now stopped police operations of the robot dogs in New York.