Today we will tell readers about the company's robotics Boston Dynamicscs. And to demonstrate the dynamism and mobility of their robots, the manufacturing company taught them to dance.

American engineering and robotics company Boston Dynamicscs is known throughout the world for the development of various dynamic highly mobile robots. We will briefly talk about each robot at the end of the article. And now we want to show an exciting video called "Spot’s On It", in which 7 robotic dogs dance by name Spot.

 

Spot’s On It | Dancing robot dogs

Company Boston Dynamicscs was founded in 1992 as a subsidiary of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From June 2021 Boston Dynamicscs belongs to the company Hyundai Motor Group, in honor of which this video was released to the song of the group BTS "IONIQ: I'm On It".

Now let's talk a little about the creation of this video.

At first, it's not entirely clear what you're looking at. The yellow robots, sitting in silence, lined up so closely that they almost resemble sun loungers stacked on top of each other. Then, to the beat of the music, their hands line up in a fluid series of patterns, giving the impression of one multi-armed peacock robot in front of the camera. Finally, the seven Spots move apart, synchronizing their steps and seemingly outplaying each other's dance moves.

The steps are so precisely timed, and the movements are so smooth and harmonious, that you might think that the robots are actually listening to the music and reacting to it. But this is not the case, they are listening to their synchronized internal clock. Despite all their sophisticated sensors, robots don't even know that music is playing. And their ability to move through space without stepping on each other's heels is the result of painstaking positioning and programming, not the robot's function to avoid obstacles.

The end result is seamless, smooth and even a little striking. But there are hours of choreography and engineering behind the scenes, all put together for a 77-second performance.

“There were a lot of challenges in translating the vision of our choreographer, used to working with dancers, into our software,” notes Eric Whitman, a roboticist at Boston Dynamicscs, who starred in the released video "Spot’s On It".

“Everything had to be thought out in advance and precisely programmed according to the scenario. Robots have an advantage over humans in that they are very repeatable: once you get it right, it stays right. But they also have a drawback – you have to tell them every little thing. They don't improvise at all.”

Spot (robot dog)
flickr.com

I must say that this is not the first output of the robot. Spot to the dance floor In 2018 Spot showed his abilities to the song "Uptown Funk". And at the end of 2020, the robot Spot joined the robots Atlas и Handlele in a dance performance to the 1962 classic "Do You Love Me". We will also show these videos later.

Once these videos are over, the obvious question remains: why dance? Finally, Spot already in commercial use. The robot completes inspections at power plants and construction sites. What is the purpose of programming a robot to wag its ass?

“A sports performance like dancing highlights the mechanical design of the robot as well as the algorithms in the software,” says Mark Reibert, Founder and Chairman Boston Dynamicscs. “If you look at the dance we did, you can see that it has dozens of different behaviors, so the team had to create tools to allow us to create those behaviors fast enough to complete the project in a reasonable amount of time. This is a practical answer.”

“But for me,” Raibert adds, “it was basically a way to express creativity and have fun.”

Roboticist Eric Whitman notes that it took years to develop Spot habitual behaviors such as confident walking and climbing. Creating a dance video like this, he says, gives developers a creative goal that leads to rapid innovation in how the robot can move. The dance also reveals potential improvements in the physical design of the robot. Or, as Whitman put it, "Dancing is a form of accelerated life cycle testing." For example, after dance tests showed that hitting a robot dog's knee too hard could cause damage, the company set out to find better materials for the robot's upper legs.

“When we do these projects, we always have two goals,” says Whitman. “The first goal is to use the video as motivation to improve the product. The second goal is to have fun making videos.”

 

UpTown Spot | Dancing Robot Dog (2018)

 

Do You Love Me? | Dancing robots Atlas, robot Handlele and robot Spot (2020)

 

Company robots Boston Dynamicscs

BigDog

BigDog (Big Dog) is a four-legged robot created in 2005 as an auxiliary robotic transport for the ground forces, capable of moving over rough terrain. BigDog capable of carrying up to 150 kg of cargo at a speed of up to 6,4 km/h and overcome a slope of up to 35 degrees.

 

LittleDog

LittleDog (Little Dog) is a small four-legged robot created in 2010 for research purposes. The legs of the robot have a large range of motion, it is strong enough for climbing and dynamic gaits.

 

Cheetah

Cheetah (Cheetah) is a four-legged robot capable of reaching a speed of 28 miles per hour (45 km/h or 13 m/s), which is a record for four-legged robots as of August 2012. Cheetah has a flexible back, which helps to achieve high speed of movement. However, this speed corresponds to the movement of the legs of the robot, and not its ability to move itself forward. In addition, this laboratory sample of the robot moved on a treadmill, receiving power from a stationary hydraulic unit.

Therefore, on October 5, 2013 the company Boston Dynamicscs introduced an improved version of this robot called WildCat (Wild cat), which has an autonomous hydraulic power system. On a flat surface WildCat develops a speed of 25 km/h.

Interestingly, the Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created its own similar robot, also known as Cheetah. This cheetah robot could jump over obstacles while running by 2014, and by 2018 the robot could climb stairs.

 

RiSE

RiSE – a six-legged robot capable of climbing vertical obstacles: walls, trees and fences. It uses legs with micro-hooks and a tail for movement, and can change its position in accordance with the curvature of the surface. RiSE has a length of 0,25 meters and a mass of 2 kg. Movement speed – 0,3 m / s.

 

PETMAN

PETMAN is a bipedal robot designed to test personal protective equipment. This is the first anthropomorphic robot that moves like a real person. Has many technological borrowings from BigDog.

 

LS3

Legged Squad Support System (LS3), also known as AlphaDog, is a paramilitary version BigDog. This robot is designed for military use and can operate in hot, cold, wet and dirty environments.

 

Handle

Handlele is a robot about 2 meters high, capable of moving at speeds up to 4 m/s and jumping 1,2 meters high. A distinctive feature of the robot is that there are wheels on its hind legs. The battery reserve is enough for 24 km of travel.

 

Stretch

Stretch – a robot designed for operations with boxes and crates in confined spaces. His main task is to work in warehouses and unload trucks. The declared productivity is the movement of 800 boxes weighing up to 23 kilograms per hour without human intervention.

 

Pick

Pick is a robot, just like Stretch, but fixed in a certain place. It is designed to carry boxes. The robot can identify the box in less than a second. It automatically gets rid of the cardboard sheet.

 

Atlas

Atlas – An anthropomorphic robot 5 feet (152,4 cm) high, designed to move over rough terrain. It is based on an earlier humanoid robot. PETMAN. It walks on two legs and can use its free hands to carry loads or climb vertical obstacles.

 

Spot

Spot (robot dog) – a four-legged robot, first introduced on June 23, 2016, capable of speeds up to 1,6 meters per second. The robot masters the area with the help of stereo cameras, which in total give a viewing angle of 360 °. In this way Spot moves across terrain with unprecedented mobility, allowing you to automate routine inspection and data collection tasks safely, accurately, and frequently. The robot dog weighs 25 kilograms.

Spot is an agile mobile robot that can be configured for a wide range of applications. The base platform provides cross-country mobility, obstacle avoidance, and various levels of navigation, remote control and autonomy. The manufacturer claims that the robot Spot can be customized by adding specialized sensors, software, and other payloads. First clients Boston Dynamicscs is already being tested Spot to monitor construction sites and provide remote inspection of oil and gas, power plants and public safety. Spot is in mass production and is currently shipping to selected early adopters.

To demonstrate this theory, we will show below the official video Boston Dynamicscs.

 

Factory Safety Service Robot

Factory Safety Service Robot Robot (Factory security robot) was introduced on September 17, 2021. It is based on an existing robot Spot. Its built-in thermal imaging camera and system 3D LiDAR help detect nearby people, monitor fire hazards, and recognize open and closed doors.

 

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