Robots Dancing to “Stayin’ Alive”

Disco may be dead, but robots live forever. A couple of robots are shown strutting along to the Bee Gees’ classic “Stayin’ Alive,” as immortalized by John Travolta’s own famous intro to the late-’70s cultural totem, “Saturday Night Fever.”

The video shows two of Boston Dynamic’s Robots, Petman and BigDog. The company originally released the clips of the robots without the music, but YouTube user IrishDrummerGuy thought the ‘bots could use a more inspiring soundtrack, so he cut a montage of the robots to the classic disco tune.

The robots are actually quite impressive. Petman is able to walk upright on its own, though in the video it’s help up by cables. One person even gives it a shove while it’s walking on a treadmill, and Petman is able to correct itself and not fall over, just like a real person would. The robot is designed to test chemical protection suits, which is something you wouldn’t want a real human to do, for obvious reasons.

The other robot shown in the video is BigDog, which is a four-legged robot that looks vaguely like, as the name suggests, a giant dog. BigDog can easily walk up and down inclines, over barbed wire, and can also recover from being kicked by a human. It’s the closest thing to an At-At that exists in reality. The robot is also excellent at being generally creepy. One shot even shows the reflection of a Boston commuter train in the windows as BigDog falls over. I would give anything to see the looks on the riders’ faces as they say that thing on their way to work. The funding for BigDog came from DARPA, the folks who helped invent the Internet, so they know a good thing when they see one.

We’ve covered Petman before, as well as BigDog’s cousin, AlphaDog. If you’re intro robots or dentistry, you might also be interested in an incredibly realistic robot dental patient from Japan used for training dentists.