Monday, August 3, 2020

Boston Dynamics robots perform rump dance to cheer on baseball team

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Take your robot army to the ball game.

Video screenshot of Gael Fashingbauer Cooper / CNET

Take me to the ball game. Take me to the … crowd with the robot cheerleaders? A video shared on Tuesday showed famed Boston Dynamics robot dog Spot, associated with his semi-humanoid brother Pepper, cheering during a Japanese baseball game. And not just a Spot and a Pepper – there was a small army of robot dogs and humanoids, wearing hats, waving flags, and in the case of Spot robots, uh, wagging their behinds.

Boston Dynamics is owned by Japanese bank Softbank and the bots cheered for the company’s team, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, in a game against the Rakuten Eagles, according to SoftBank. Since there are no human spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic, the robots animate the otherwise empty stands.

The robots will perform at matches throughout the month of July. And even if they don’t win dance competitions, don’t be shaggy, they work to improve.

“I train and train every day,” said SoftBank quoting Pepper.

If you want your own Spot, they’re just $ 74,500 (around £ 59,341 AU $ 107,116), but are only available for businesses, not for individual houses.

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