Dancing Robots

Boston DynamicsAtlas and Spot robots can do a lot of things: sprinting, gymnastic routines,parkour, backflips, open doors to let in an army of their friends, wash dishes, and (poorly) get actual jobs. But the company’s latest video adds another impressive trick to our future robotic overlords’ repertoire: busting sick dance moves.

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The video sees Boston Dynamics entire lineup of robots — the humanoid Atlas, the dog-shaped Spot, and the box-juggling Handle — all come together in a bopping, coordinated dance routine set to The Contours’ “Do You Love Me.”

t’s not the first time Boston Dynamics has shown off its robotsdancing skills: the company showcased a video of its Spot robot doing the Running Man to “Uptown Funk” in 2018. but the new video takes things to another level, with the Atlas robot tearing it up on the dance floor: smoothly running, jumping, shuffling, and twirling through different moves.

Things get even more incredible as more robots file out, prancing around in the kind of coordinated dance routine that puts my own, admittedly awful human dancing to shame. Compared to the jerky movements of the 2016 iteration of Atlas, the new model almost looks like a CGI creation.

Boston Dynamics was recently purchased by Hyundai, which bought the robotics firm from SoftBank in a $1.1 billion deal. The company was originally founded in 1992 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where it became known for its dog-like quadrupedal robots (most notably, the DARPA-funded BigDog, a precursor to the company’s first commercial robot, Spot.) It was bought by Alphabet’s X division in 2013, and then by Softbank in 2017.

While the Atlas and Handle robots featured here are still just research prototypes, Boston Dynamics has recently started selling the Spot model to any company for the considerable price of $74,500. But can you really put a price on creating your own personal legion of boogieing robot minions?

Source: https://www.bostondynamics.com/
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https://www.theverge.com/

Uber Electric Flying Taxi Available In 2023

U.S. ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) and South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor (005380.KS) have teamed up to develop electric air taxis, joining the global race to make small self-flying cars to ease urban congestion. Global players like Germany’s Daimler (DAIGn.DE), China’s Geely Automobile (0175.HK) and Japan’s Toyota (7203.T) have all unveiled investments in startups that aim to deploy electric flying cars capable of vertical takeoff and landing. But there are big technological and regulatory hurdles to the plans.

Uber and Hyundai, for instance, gave widely different timelines for commercialization, underlining these challenges.

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We’ve been making steady progress toward a goal of launching Uber Air by 2023,” Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, said at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai, expects commercialization of urban air mobility service in 2028, saying it takes time for laws and systems to be in place.

Hyundai is the first carmaker to join Uber’s air taxi project, which also counts Boeing (BA.N) subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences among its partner firms.

Hyundai will produce and deploy the vehicles while Uber will provide aerial ride-share services.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/

Hyundai’s New Car Has Legs

We’ve all read the studies—or heard our doctors’ diatribes—telling us to stop sitting all day, stand up, and start walking around. The movement has been going on for years. But for the first time, it appears as if the benefits of walking has trickled down from humans to cars.

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At CES Monday, Hyundai introduced Americans to the Elevate, a walking concept vehicle with four robotic, bendable legs and a look made for the movies. (If Transformers director Michael Bay had a “meltdown” over a teleprompter issue at CES in 2014, we wonder what his reaction would have been to these puppies.)

Although Hyundai didn’t present a full-scale prototype, the mock-up design of the Elevate as well as its intended purpose to rapidly respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crises are impressive.

When a tsunami or earthquake hits, current rescue vehicles can only deliver first responders to the edge of the debris field. They have to go the rest of the way by foot. Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete,” John Suh, Vice President and Head of Hyundai CRADLE, said in a press release.

This technology goes well beyond emergency situations. People living with disabilities worldwide that don’t have access to an ADA ramp could hail an autonomous Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in,” Suh continued. “The possibilities are limitless.”

Source: http://fortune.com/