Technology

Watch: Boston Dynamics robots can dance now, because of course they can

🎶 Dancing machine! 🎶

Two Atlas robots from Boston Dynamics dance in an elaborate routine. Screenshot, Boston Dynamics

They can run. They can open doors. And now, most terrifyingly of all: They can dance better than you.

Boston Dynamics, the Waltham robotics company behind a popular line-up of agile, acrobatic, and regularly fear-inducing robots, released a new video Tuesday of an ensemble of machines dancing to the classic Motown hit “Do You Love Me” by The Contours.

And their choreography is really good. Maybe it’s revenge for all the times that humans have mocked them by busting out the Robot at weddings and bar mitzvahs.

The company regularly shows off its robots’ mechanical athleticism in inevitably viral videos — the quadruped Spot can shuffle to a Bruno Mars track, and the humanoid Atlas can do parkour and gymnastics.

The latest video, though, is possibly their most elaborate yet. Along with the popular Atlas and Spot, the video also features Handle, a mobile grabber designed to move boxes in warehouses.

There’s a lot of impressive moves in the routine, which was choreographed by dancer Monica Thomas in collaboration with the Boston Dynamics team. Atlas can balance on one foot and kick both legs in the air, Spot can emulate a ballerina on pointe, and the bulkier two-wheeled Handle makes the most of its long and flexible neck. The crew has come a long way from their clumsier and clunkier origins of only four years ago.

2020 has been a big year for Boston Dynamics. After years of prototypes, Spot made its commercial debut for $75,000 this summer, and this month Hyundai purchased an 80% stake in the company, now valued at over $1.1 billion.

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This article was updated with credit to Monica Thomas.

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