Boston Dynamics Robot Dog TikTok Hits 4.5M Views

Princeton students created a TikTok account to demonstrate the robot’s civilian use cases by showcasing its dancing capabilities

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

May 28, 2024

1 Min Read
Students, faculty and robot from Princeton University’s course, “Robots in Human Ecology"
Students, faculty and robot from Princeton University’s course, “Robots in Human Ecology"Aaron Nathans, Princeton University

Princeton University students are creating TikTok videos of Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot to demonstrate its potential civilian use cases and the results are going viral.

The videos are being added under the TikTok account, SPOTlight, which shows Spot interacting in some musical videos.

In one, which has racked up 4.5 million views, student Gigi Schadrack programmed Spot to line dance alongside her, jumping and moving in sync.

View post on TikTok

In another, with 1.4 million views, Schadrack ballet dances with the robot.

View post on TikTok

Schadrack said the videos are intended to demystify robots and gather data on human-robot interactions. 

“As a dancer, I wanted to explore how bipedal movements could be translated to a quadruped,” Schadrack said. 

“A gift of going viral meant eliciting a wide range of comments and replies,” said Wasif Sami, another student on the course. As a group, we grappled with how our playful, performative content exists in dialogue with higher-stakes impacts of technology.

“Navigating our audience reaction taught us to consciously situate our work amidst the many uses of robots, as well as to listen openly to the discordant, plural voices on the internet.”  

The students are creating the videos as part of the university’s ‘Robots in Human Ecology’ course, designed to explore the role and ethics of robots in society and gain hands-on experience manipulating the robot for “generating ethically sound and community-engaged applications on campus.” 

Related:Boston Dynamics Showcases Dancing Dog Called Sparkles

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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