Boston Dynamics, BTS and Ballet: The next scene of robots


There is a scene in Swan Lake There, Prince Siegfried, a burly protagonist with a crossbow, lost his swan princess Odette in the enchanted forest. Suddenly, he found himself facing dozens of identical ballet swans. Dazzled and at a loss, Siegfried ran around in the doppelganger team in vain to find his fiancée. He was bewildered by the diversity of swans and the scale of the precise movements of the robots they shared.

by the time Swan Lake First performed at the end of the 19th century, the prince’s protagonist’s confusion among many simultaneous ballet dancers is already a metaphor. Romantic ballets are full of such moments, but they can also be found in more modern choreography.American director Busby Berkeley is famous for his movies, such as 42nd Street Dozens of dancers performed the same moves incredible. In the past few decades, Rockettes and any number of boy bands have brought similar styles to the stage. Throughout history, military parades, parades, and public demonstrations have brought this strategy to the streets. Orchestrating the group so that the parts move like the whole is both a technique and a strategy.

It is through this intersection of Venntu’s ballet, boy band and camp that we can consider “Just above it,” the latest dance video from the robot manufacturer Boston Dynamics. This short film made to commemorate Hyundai Motor Company’s acquisition of the company shows the quadruped “Spot” robot dancing to the song “IONIQ: I’m on It” by the modern global ambassador and the super boy band BTS to promote the company The niche electric car series. In the video, several Spot robots beat with amazing synchronicity in a fascinating but dystopian minute and 20 seconds.

At the beginning of the video, five robots are lined up in a row, one behind the other, so only the Spot in front is fully visible. The music begins: a new era rhythm, accompanied by the applause of the synthesizer and the prayer-like word “IONIQ” of BTS. The head of the robot rises and blooms with the music, flexibly shaping itself into a wobbly star, then a spiral, and then a flower pose that breathes with the melody line. Their ability to robot accuracy allows other simple gestures (lifting head, rotating 90 degrees, Spot’s “mouth” open) to create the complexity of mirroring among all robot performers. “Spot’s on It”, à la Busby Berkeley, makes it difficult to distinguish between robots, and sometimes it is not clear which robot “head” belongs to which robot body.

Monica Thomas’ choreography takes advantage of the robot’s mobility Exactly Like each other. For the Rockets, Bangtan Boys, and many ballet companies, individual skill is a function of a person’s ability to move indiscriminately in the group. However, Spot robots are functionally, kinesthetically, and visually identical to each other. Human performers can play in such a similar way, but robots fully embody it. This is Siegfried’s mysterious Swan Valley in Robot Ballet.

From a technical point of view, the ability of the robot to change its motion proves that Boston Dynamics’s choreography software is becoming more sophisticated. This is a component of its Spot Software Development Kit (SDK) and is aptly called “choreographer.” Among them, the user of the robot can choose to choreograph the robot motion sequence, such as “bourree”-defined as “cross-legged pat like a ballet” in the SDK-and modify its relative speed, yaw and standing length. In the whole In the application of dance, a movement, such as “bourree”, can be reversed, reversed, mirrored, wide or narrow, fast or slow, to increase or decrease distortion in the entire group. Thomas’ choreography takes full advantage of this ability to perform various kaleidoscope effects.

This complexity and subtlety marks a significant departure from “Spot’s on It” and the previous Boston Dynamic Dance Company.First of all, it is obvious that there is a more intense production equipment behind this video: “Spot’s on It” is accompanied by a friendly Corporate blog posts This is the first time to describe how Boston Dynamics deploys choreography in its marketing and engineering processes. It is worth noting that this is also the first time Thomas has been publicly recognized as the choreographer of Boston Dynamics dance. She is in such as “Residential area” with”Do you love me?“It’s actually invisible, so Boston Dynamics decided to emphasize Thomas’ role in this latest video as a major change in posture. Scholar Jessica Rajko has previously pointed out that the company’s opaque labor policies and The vague reason for not trusting Thomas is in stark contrast to choreographer robotics researchers such as Catie Cuan and Amy Laviers, who apparently contributed dancers to their work. “Spot’s on It” marks Boston Dynamics’ commitment to In-depth and complicated participation in choreography.

Although the dance robot of Boston Dynamics is currently being relegated to a brand spectacle, the company’s choreography has always left a deep impression on me. In the hands of artists, these machines are becoming very capable of expressing through performance. Boston Dynamics is a company that takes dance seriously and, according to its blog post, uses choreography as “a highly accelerated form of hardware lifecycle testing.”All these dances are for fun with Features.

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