Elon Musk is still warning us that the super intelligent AI is going to condemn the planet, but the robots are here trying to do their job. Watch the recent video above the quadruped ANYmal research bot, which was recently taught to dance (more or less) by researchers from the Swiss university ETH Zurich.
As the doctoral student Péter Fankhauser explains to The Verge, the interesting thing that happens here is that ANYmal is reacting to music that listens in real time, instead of relying on preprogrammed dance moves. This requires the robot to analyze the speed of the song, plan how it could move to the rhythm of the music, start dancing and then check your own movements to see if they are synchronized to the beat.
"We wanted to have it that way, if you take the robot to a disco, you can decipher the music, create a choreography and synchronize its movement," says Fankhauser. "We are also interested in creating realistic movements, dancing is a very human action and one that requires a lot of movement, so it is a challenge to imitate."
This is a fun avant-garde robotics application, but it also has great research potential. The mechanism by which ANYmal analyzes its own movements to verify that it is dancing to the rhythm of the rhythm is a useful feedback loop. This type of internal mechanism (Fankhauser compares it to a human being who imagines how they complete a task) could be useful to control their actions in jobs such as industrial topography or search and rescue missions.
"We do a lot of serious things with the robot but this is the fun side," says Fankhauser. "For us, for the students, for everyone involved, it's nice to do these things, and really explore the capabilities of the hardware."