Can Robots Dance?

Dr. Marc Raibert said at a 2018 TechCrunch robotic conference at UC Berkeley he believes the impact of robots will be greater than from the Internet. Marc, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT may be one of the few who has the credibility to make such a statement. In 1980, Marc founded the CMU Leg Lab, and then in 1992, he founded Boston Dynamics, a simulation and robotics company. Knowing a lot about how legs work, Dr. Raibert developed the first self-balancing, hopping robot. This was a significant step forward in robotics. Raibert’s dream is to advance bipedal and quadrupedal robotics to a supernatural state.

Boston Dynamics started out in 1992 as a spin-off from MIT, where it became known for its dog-like quadrupedal robots. The company was bought by Google and then later was sold to SoftBank. It was just sold again, this time to Hyundai for more than one billion dollars. Boston Dynamics just recently started selling its four legged Spot robot for commercial applications with a price tag of $74,500.

The progress made by Boston Dynamics is amazing, even just since I wrote Robot Attitude: How Robots and Artificial Intelligence Will Make Our Lives Better in 2019. To demonstrate the point, think about how awkwardly C-3PO from Star Wars walked and then watch the robots dancing to “Do You Love Me” here.

Epilogue: To learn more about robots and AI, get a Kindle copy of Robot Attitude here for just $4.99.