Connect with us

Cleantech

Let’s Dance! Boston Dynamics & BTS Do The Hyundai K-Pop Boogie (Video)

Published

on

Their arms extend, rotate like the sun, clutch inward, swing side to side, then cross. Lined up in a row so one dancer mimics the other in form and flow, they are one yet different. They are able to hop and reach, to dip and point, so that the effect is synchronicity and grace. It’s a type of gestalt of art and tech that extends beyond the range of either. And the mechanical moves are inspired by an easy, light pop beat.

“Spot’s on It,” the latest dance video from robotics manufacturer Boston Dynamics, commemorates the company’s recent acquisition by the Hyundai Motor Company. The video features quadrupedal Spot robots dancing to “IONIQ: I’m on It.” That anthem was released last year to celebrate the launch of Hyundai Motor’s dedicated electric vehicle brand, IONIQ.

In the 1 minute and 20 second video, several Spot robots bop in sync in a flowing, backstepping, lifting, hopping, stomping, turning, dipping, and tapping series of steps. These are skills inherent in dance, building to agility, balance, and perception, and they’ve been applied by Boston Dynamics to a wide variety of robot applications. The company declares that the robotic choreography is “a form of highly accelerated lifecycle testing for the hardware.”

The Art-in-Robotics Movement

The robots are fun, quirky, and fluid, and each delicate step is part of a carefully choreographed segment by Monica Thomas that takes advantage of the robots’ ability to move exactly like one another — and then to veer off and grasp at the air of possibilities. They lift their heads, complete a 90-degree rotation, and open their “mouths.” The movements combine so the robot performers create subtle expressions and mirrored patterns.

In an interview with Dance magazine, Thomas revealed that she spent a good deal of time watching the robots move to get a sense of their joint flexibility then acted out each part herself. Choreography arose through conversations with the engineers about what was currently possible and what movements they loved seeing in their work with each robot.

From a technical perspective, the robots’ capacity for movement variation demonstrates the progress that these Boston Dynamics robots have made since their first public performance. The engineers built tools and created a “pipeline that lets you take a diverse set of motions, that you can describe through a variety of different inputs, and push them through and onto the robot,” according to Boston Dynamics engineer, Aaron Saunders.

The Marketing Is The Message

Beginning in October, 2018, Boston Dynamics introduced a mechanical dog named Spot which danced to “Uptown Funk” — sung by Bruno Mars — as well as a humanoid robot called Atlas that ran and jumped over obstacles.

Sydney Skybetter, professor of choreography and emerging technologies at Brown University and founder of the Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces, describes the design of choreographing groups where the part moves like the whole as both “a technique and a tactic.” Such complexity and subtlety marks “Spot’s on It” as a significant departure from previous Boston Dynamics dances, Skybetter says, adding that Boston Dynamics is a company that “takes dance seriously, with the intersection of ballet, boy bands, and battalions a fitting mechanism to consider ‘Spot’s on It.’”

He notes the following shift in the art behind the Boston Dynamics message.

  • This video had a more intense production apparatus behind it than those that preceded it: “Spot’s on It” is accompanied by a friendly corporate blog post that, for the first time, narrates how Boston Dynamics deploys choreography in its marketing and engineering processes.
  • Another first is that Thomas is publicly credited as the choreographer of Boston Dynamics’ dances. Her labor in viral videos like “Uptown Spot” and “Do You Love Me?” was rendered “practically invisible,” so Boston Dynamics’ decision to underline Thomas’ role in this latest video is a substantial shift in posture.
  • In artists’ hands, these machines are becoming eminently capable of expression through performance.

The company’s self-professed goal is “changing your idea of what robots can do,” and they’ve made tremendous inroads with the “Spot’s On It” video. It’s difficult to distinguish between the robots, and at times it’s unclear which robot “head” belongs to which robot body.

The Music Behind The Boston Dynamics’ Method

Boston Dynamics’ last dancing video has over 32 million views on YouTube. The “Spot’s on It” video sound track was recorded by Hyundai global ambassador and South Korean 7-member megaband BTS. The music that grounds the video has an energetic and pleasing pace, with BTS reveling in the word “IONIQ.”

With an enormous US fan base, BTS is known for casual posts, live-streamed video diaries, or produced episodes of their reality TV-like web show “Run BTS!” The clips have created a kind of intimacy between BTS and their fans that other K-pop groups have since tried to imitate. The BTS Army has acted as a network of unpaid translators, producing English subtitles and texts of their content, connecting BTS with their non-Korean speaking audience.

The Boston Dynamics collaboration with BTS, one of the most popular bands on the planet with an extremely active fan base, is certain to accrue even more hits and visibility, making visible the interface between art and technology.

Final Thoughts About Boston Dynamics

The feats of the Boston Dynamics robots are truly amazing. The coordinated dance routine involved incredibly precise programming as an alternative to utilizing the robot’s built-in sensors or obstacle avoidance algorithms that Spot usually uses to get around and accomplish tasks. “Everything had to be worked out in advance and scripted precisely,” explained Eric Whitman, a Boston Dynamics roboticist.

SpaceX has used one of the robots to inspect the Starship SN10 crash site. With the Boston Dynamics advancement of solving the dilemma how to make robots walk like animals, stay balanced, maintain erect stature, and how to overcome obstacles, the next steps (pun intended) will develop robotic athletic performance like dance stresses consistent with the mechanical design of the robot, which stresses algorithms in the software.

In June, 2021, Hyundai Motor Group, Boston Dynamics, Inc., and SoftBank Group Corp. announced the completion of the Group’s acquisition of a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank, following the receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The deal valued the mobile robot firm at $1.1 billion.

“With the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, Hyundai Motor will expand its new robotics business to provide customers with exciting mobility experiences,” said Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motor. “We look forward to exploring new marketing opportunities to communicate with millennials and Gen Z, in particular, about the enormous potential offered by Hyundai’s new robotics in daily life, enabling progress for humanity.”

Photo courtesy of Hyundai


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.


 



 


Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/13/lets-dance-boston-dynamics-bts-do-the-hyundai-k-pop-boogie-video/

Cleantech

Jobs In Renewable Energy Fared Better Than Other Sectors In 2020

Published

on

Employment in renewable energy and battery-related sectors was far more resilient to the shock of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to an annual DOE report released Monday.

Overall, one in 10 U.S. energy workers lost their jobs in 2020, with oil and gas workers hit hardest despite billions in bailouts and substantial payouts to executives.

Wind energy employment grew by nearly 2%. Jobs in the electric and hybrid-electric vehicle sectors grew by 8% and 6% respectively, and battery storage jobs also increased.

“While we do have work to do to make our energy sector more robust, we also have a lot of work to do in making our energy sector look like America and to make sure that these new clean energy jobs are paying family-sustaining wages, with good benefits and union membership,” DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm said during a virtual report release.

Sources: ReutersThe Hill

This is a quick news brief from Nexus Media.


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.


 



 


Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/21/jobs-in-renewable-energy-fared-better-than-other-sectors-in-2020/

Continue Reading

Cleantech

Jobs In Renewable Energy Fared Better Than Other Sectors In 2020

Published

on

Employment in renewable energy and battery-related sectors was far more resilient to the shock of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to an annual DOE report released Monday.

Overall, one in 10 U.S. energy workers lost their jobs in 2020, with oil and gas workers hit hardest despite billions in bailouts and substantial payouts to executives.

Wind energy employment grew by nearly 2%. Jobs in the electric and hybrid-electric vehicle sectors grew by 8% and 6% respectively, and battery storage jobs also increased.

“While we do have work to do to make our energy sector more robust, we also have a lot of work to do in making our energy sector look like America and to make sure that these new clean energy jobs are paying family-sustaining wages, with good benefits and union membership,” DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm said during a virtual report release.

Sources: ReutersThe Hill

This is a quick news brief from Nexus Media.


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.


 



 


Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/21/jobs-in-renewable-energy-fared-better-than-other-sectors-in-2020/

Continue Reading

Cleantech

EU’s Proposed Green Deal Is A Big Victory For Fossil Fuel Companies

Published

on

On the 14th of July 2021, the EU Commission published its proposal for dealing with the climate crises and biodiversity crises, using money made available to counter the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mix of climate crises, biodiversity crises, and economic recovery makes this packet something where many people find bits to be happy about and many people find bits not to be happy about.

  • The economic recovery is high priority, very short term.
  • The climate crises is ultimate priority, very short term.
  • The biodiversity is medium priority, medium to long term.

With that last classification, many people will get very angry. But it is a task that will take our attention for the coming centuries. Getting one or two years delayed in formulating policies, writing laws, and reaching consensus is not the biggest problem. The realization that we should start doing it, that we should keep doing it for as long as we are the custodians of life on Earth, that is the hardest part. It is something that can not be, even a tiny little bit for your special case, sacrificed for convenience or financial gain.

The second classification about climate change is even harder to understand for most people. Species are disappearing today, to be never seen again. The climate is something that will last centuries from now. How can it have a higher priority?

Catastrophic climate change is already happening today. It is killing people in heatwaves and floods today — literally, today. If we do not succeed to halt the growth of the greenhouse gas layer in this decade for the most part, mopping up the rest of the pollution sources in the next decade, biodiversity does not matter anymore. We will likely go to an Earth with a completely different biotope, one where there is no place for mammals.

Without mammals in the mix, there will be room for many thousands, if not millions, of new species on earth. Biodiversity will be saved, but not as we envision it today.

Economic recovery is always a very short-term action. For the economic problems caused by the coronavirus measures, immediate relief is needed. Companies should not go broke and people should not get unemployed because of what is essentially a natural disaster.

That the money for the economic recovery is used to accelerate the necessary transition to a clean/green economy is logical. Why spend money to rebuild what we were planning to demolish. I mean, the fossil fuel–based economy has to go. No reason to waste money in preserving it.

Logical, but not what many stakeholders of the fossil industry would like to see. They have dreams of transitioning the economy to greener fossil fuels. The previous attempt to switch to clean diesel failed, but that is not a reason to give up and go find a new career. There is still the fuel of the future, hydrogen. It is preferably made from natural gas (preferably for them, not for us), and in the long run with electricity from nuclear reactors, through a future electrolysis process.

Convincing policymakers that hydrogen (green in the future) is essential for road transport will delay the growth of battery electric vehicles — those pesky toys that do so much harm to the automotive industry and can drive on electricity from the solar cells on one’s roof.

These goals in the EU Green Deal proposal — not nearly large enough (“fossil fuel friendly,” you might say) — are:

  • A 600kW station every 60 kilometers along European highways for light vehicles by 2030 (2*150kW by 2025 and 4*150kW by 2030).
  • A 3500kW station every 60 kilometers along European highways for medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles in 2030 (perhaps 5*700kW?).
  • A hydrogen station every 150 kilometers for ???????.

Currently, the fastest charging is at 175 kW or 250 kW for 350V–400V batteries. Double that for 800V batteries. A two-plug 150kW each station every 60 kilometers is probably sufficient in Northern Sweden and Lapland. Between 2025 and 2030, the number of BEVs on the roads will multiply by four (increase by 300%) at least. I expect Tesla alone to offer more stations with more plugs long before 2030.

Trucks have charging at their home depot, or are long-haul trucks charging on the road? (Okay, this is a bit simplified.) The Tesla Semi uses about 1.25 kWh/km. The charge time of the truck can be booked as the mandatory rest time of the driver. The 1 MW or 1.2 MW chargers that are now discussed are a reflection of this reality.

Truckers like to combine their rest time with their lunch or dinner break. This creates high demand for many plugs around these times with low demand during normal trucking times. Logistics is a commercial business. It will create the needed charging infrastructure via demand and supply. Selling electricity and a warm meal is the name of the game.

Local governments need to be prepared to facilitate the permitting process and plan the grid connections. Each station (both for light-duty vehicles and medium-/heavy-duty vehicles) should be planned for a 2MW–8MW connection or more. Building the transport line between the charging station and the existing grid is very expensive.

For the chargers, the most important metric is missing. That is the number of plugs needed at each station. For this, an analysis of the traffic volumes on the European roads is needed. It would show that many roads will need a charging station every 30 kilometers with 8 to 20 plugs.

In Europe, many have free travel in their company cars. Company cars are new, and after 2025, likely all electric. While the complete European car fleet will likely take 20+ years to replace, the fleet traveling on highways will be replaced in about 6 years. Due to less range, a BEV will charge more often than a fossil fuel vehicle makes a tank stop, at least twice as often. It will also keep a charging space longer occupied than a gas pump will be occupied — for ease of computation, double the time.

By 2030, at least half the fleet on the highways will be BEV. That means that half the gas pumps have to be replaced by four times that number of charging plugs. We have an awful lot more than four gas pumps every 60 kilometers of highway. The European Automobile Industry (ACEA) has even explained that the progress in selling BEVs is limited by the buildout of the infrastructure on the ground. When the EU comes with an ambitious plan for the car market, an even more ambitious infrastructure plan should accompany it to make it reality.

The fossil fuel industry will be very grateful for this ridiculous lowball number for highway charging stations. There will never be enough plugs for the yearly mass migrations to the sun and the snow. But that is only about 6 weekends each year. It is like the airlines never having enough seats for Thanksgiving weekend in the USA. Sizing to the exception is impossible, but we can aim to have enough in the rest of the year.

There is NO metric for the hydrogen station. Probably the lobbyists know that there won’t be customers. It is only about getting subsidies for the uneconomical stations and slowing the transition to fully electric ones. It is just a distraction. The well-to-wheel energy need is too clear a case to expect any hydrogen ever playing a role in road transport.

There are a number of lofty goals for hydrogen production. It should get at volume soon, and 50% of the green hydrogen should be renewable by 2030. Makes one think — what is non-renewable green hydrogen? I can only think of hydrogen fused into helium as not renewable. That would liberate a lot of energy, by the way.

Photo by Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica

Another way of temporizing what the market is doing is setting goals for public chargers that are too low. These are mostly Level 2 chargers for people without home charging.

  • 2025 – 1 million
  • 2030 – 3.5 million
  • 2040 – 11.4 million
  • 2050 – 16.3 million

Either those civil servants in Brussel are math-illiterate, or they think we are. The total for the EU in 2025 is just twice what the home country of the main writers of the deal plan to build by that year. The 2030 number is about three times the number in their home country. These math-illiterate people are Commissioner Timmermans and his chief-of-staff Samson, both Dutch.

Before he became chief-of-staff, Samson was one of the authors of the Dutch Klimaatakkoord, where the numbers of Dutch planned chargers can be found.

The EU is over 25 times the population of the Netherlands, and many more times the size. The Dutch numbers are from before the more ambitious goals and the rise in BEV sales in the last two years. In another article, I discussed why they are too low. With over a million chargers for the Netherlands alone in 2030, there is only a goal of 2.5 million chargers for the rest of the EU.  … Somebody is math challenged, and it ain’t me. In my very humble and biased opinion, that number needs an extra zero. And then some.

While greenwashing their actions, the EU commission is applying the brakes at full force. The fossil fuel lobby was successful.


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.


 



 


Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/21/eus-proposed-green-deal-is-a-big-victory-for-fossil-fuel-companies/

Continue Reading

Cleantech

What Will Happen To Old ICE Vehicles In The Electric Era?

Published

on

David Waterworth

“Disabled & Elderly Parking Only.” That’s what the sign said, so he parked his ICE Corolla there. We saw the vehicle as we exited the restaurant and walked towards where we had parked our Tesla. When I pointed it out to my friend, he said, “In 20 years they’ll be using that car for a chook pen.”

Image by David Waterworth

I thought that was a little unfair, as one of my neighbours has an older Corolla (and 2 others the same model in the backyard for spares). They are certainly a great little car and have been a phenomenal success for Toyota. But so was the Morris Minor for British Motors Corporation and the Torana for General Motors Holden and the Cortina for Ford. 

Image by David Waterworth

The conversation continued around car clubs and the future of ICE vehicles for enthusiasts and hobbyists. Would they become quaint curiosities to be gawked at in special auto shows? Perhaps they would feature in car museums. While everyone else is driving normal cars (those that have electric motors, that don’t make a lot of noise or produce noxious smells), these could be taken out on weekends to drive in convoys for the nostalgic.

Or will it be smash-up derbies as was done to the old British cars of the ’60s – the Austins, Morrises, and Wolseleys were driven round the track and smashed into each other for fun and entertainment. 

When the age of horse power came to an end, many animals were kept as pets or out of kindness and duty. Unfortunately, most were slaughtered and eaten (yes, eaten). As the age of ICE vehicles comes to an end, we may have to give thought about what to do with the faithful Corollas that we will have to let go. There is a limit to how many we can keep as pets. And we can’t eat them. 

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He owns 50 shares of Tesla.


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.


 



 


Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/21/what-will-happen-to-old-ice-vehicles-in-the-electric-era/

Continue Reading
Esports3 days ago

How to reduce lag and increase FPS in Pokémon Unite

Esports4 days ago

Coven skins for Ashe, Evelynn, Ahri, Malphite, Warwick, Cassiopeia revealed for League of Legends

Esports3 days ago

Will New World closed beta progress carry over to the game’s full release?

Aviation5 days ago

And Here’s Yet Another Image Of Russia’s New Fighter Concept That Will Be Officially Unveiled Tomorrow

Esports3 days ago

Can you sprint in New World?

Esports3 days ago

How to add friends and party up in New World

Esports3 days ago

How to claim New World Twitch drops

AR/VR3 days ago

Moth+Flame partners with US Air Force to launch Virtual Reality sexual assault prevention and response training

Esports4 days ago

How to complete FUTTIES Alessandrini’s objectives in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team

Esports3 days ago

Twitch streamer gets banned in New World after milking cow

Esports4 days ago

Everything we know about Seer in Apex Legends

Aerospace4 days ago

Boeing crew capsule mounted on Atlas 5 rocket for unpiloted test flight

HRTech5 days ago

Walmart to pay $125 mn in disability discrimination case?

Esports4 days ago

What Time Does League of Legends Patch 11.15 Go Live?

Esports4 days ago

Evil Geniuses top laner Impact breaks all-time LCS early-game gold record in win over Dignitas

Blockchain4 days ago

Rothschild Investment Purchases Grayscale Bitcoin and Ethereum Trusts Shares

Gaming5 days ago

Pokémon UNITE – 13 Things You Need To Know

HRTech5 days ago

TCS is UK’s leading software/IT services firm and recruiter

Blockchain4 days ago

Uniswap (UNI) and AAVE Technical Analysis: What to Expect?

Blockchain3 days ago

BNY Mellon Joins State Street Into Crypto Trading, Backs Pure Digital Trading Platform

Trending