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Drop everything and watch Boston Dynamics’ robo-dog dance to ‘Uptown Funk’

UpTown Spot

After a few years of Earthbound training, Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog is ready to take on Mars. Bruno Mars, to be precise. If that doesn’t make too much sense to you, it will after you’ve checked out the company’s latest video — in which everyone’s favorite future Skynet pet grooves to Mars and collaborator Mark Ronson’s 2014 toe-tapping hit, “Uptown Funk.” The results are the most cheerful reminder of the impending rise of the machines we’ve seen in ages!

There’s not a whole lot of information that accompanies the video, which is charmingly titled “Uptown Spot.” However, it’s a pretty neat demonstration of SpotMini’s naturalistic movement. We also get a glimpse of its impressive agility, including moments in which it changes direction while jumping, and a rendition of the “running man” dance moves (running dog?) that would surely impress even Janet Jackson herself. You can check out more about Boston Dynamics’ dog robots’ journey from mere cyber-pups to canine superstars here.

This isn’t the only attention-grabbing video Boston Dynamics has released as of late. Last week, it debuted a video showcasing Spot’s humanoid sibling Atlas pulling off some impressive parkour moves in the gym. That video demonstrated an even more dazzling level of acrobatics and robo-athleticism, although it apparently took more than 20 attempts to nail the routine for the demo.

We imagine that this latest Spot video, which has already clocked up half a million views within a few hours, may be an effort to drum up publicity on the part of Boston Dynamics. While the SoftBank-owned robotics firm has never exactly found it difficult to get press attention, there’s now an added incentive: the company will start selling its SpotMini robot in 2019. This will mark the first time in 26 years that one of Boston Dynamics’ showcase robots will be available for purchase. No price has yet been announced, but the latest SpotMini prototype is reportedly 10x cheaper to build than its predecessor — which hopefully bodes well for our wallets.

You’ll probably have to pay extra for your own Spotify or Apple Music subscription, though. Unless you want Spot dancing in eerie silence, that is!

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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