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Q&A With Aaron Saunders, VP At Boston Dynamics, On Teaching Robots To Dance (Evan Ackerman/IEEE Spectrum)


Boston Dynamics recently released a video of Atlas, Spot and Handle dancing to Do You Love Me. To learn more about how this relates to the company’s approach to robotics for business applications, we sat down with Aaron Saunders, vice president of Boston Dynamics, and asked him a few questions. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: What inspired the idea of ​​teaching robots to dance?

A: We were inspired by the idea of ​​demonstrating robots in a fun way that could potentially open up new possibilities for robotic applications in our daily lives.

Dance offers us the opportunity to see how robots can be programmed or complex movements that require both agility and coordination can be learned.This is something that has never been done before and therefore offers a unique insight into how we can use robots in business applications.

Q: How did you learn the Atlas, Spot and Handle dance?


A: We first used basic programming techniques like loop motion patterns in combination with trial and error until we got the right results. We then introduced machine learning techniques via reinforcement learning algorithms to allow robots to self-learn certain movements over time based on rewards provided by our engineers.

This allowed us to quickly execute more complex moves without requiring too much input from our team.Finally, we built an AI-powered motion control system that allowed us to create even more complex routines like the ones shown in the video.

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Q: Can you tell us how this technology can help advance robotics for commercial applications?

A: The technology behind our dancing robots has already been used in various fields such as: B. Search and rescue where agility is essential to navigate rough terrain, entertainment where complex choreography is required, production where precise and repetitive movements are essential, healthcare where remote manipulation is required, logistics where an autonomous Navigation is essential, as well as many other industries.

Using computer vision technology combined with reinforcement learning algorithms and motion control systems, these robots can be trained faster than ever before, allowing companies to speed up the development process while improving accuracy and reliability.


Aaron Saunders presented valuable insights into the process of teaching robots to dance and the possibility of using this technology in commercial applications.Using fundamental programming techniques, machine learning algorithms, and an AI-powered motion control system, Boston Dynamics was able to create complex robotic routines with unprecedented agility and coordination.

This technology has the potential to accelerate the development of robotics while improving accuracy and reliability in industries such as search and rescue, entertainment, manufacturing, healthcare logistics and more. From Aaron’s comments, it’s clear that Boston Dynamics is ushering in a new era of robotic innovation that will revolutionize the way we use robots in our daily lives.

Q&A with Boston Dynamics Vice President Aaron Saunders on teaching robots to dance and its impact on the company’s approach to robotics for business applications (Evan Ackerman/IEEE Spectrum)

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