Q&A with Aaron Saunders, VP at Boston Dynamics, on Teaching Robots to Dance
Q&A With Aaron Saunders, VP at Boston Dynamics, on Teaching Robots to Dance:

In a recent interview with Evan Ackerman at IEEE Spectrum, Aaron Saunders, Vice President of Boston Dynamics, shared insights on teaching robots to dance. Saunders shared his thoughts on the challenges involved, the future of robots in entertainment, and the potential impact of dance on the development of robot technology. In this article, we’ll dive into the Q&A session and explore the fascinating world of robot dancing.

1. Introduction

  • Background on Boston Dynamics
  • Overview of the interview with Aaron Saunders

2. The Challenges of Teaching Robots to Dance

  • Technical challenges involved in programming robots to dance
  • The importance of balance and coordination in robot movement
  • The role of machine learning in robot dance training

3. The Future of Robots in Entertainment

  • The potential of robots in live performances and events
  • The impact of robot entertainment on society and culture
  • The ethical considerations of using robots in entertainment

4. Dance as a Tool for Advancing Robot Technology

  • The benefits of teaching robots to dance in terms of technological advancements
  • The potential for dance to enhance the versatility and adaptability of robots
  • The use of dance as a testing ground for new robot technologies

Q&A with Aaron Saunders, VP at Boston Dynamics, on Teaching Robots to Dance

Q&A with Aaron Saunders, VP at Boston Dynamics, on Teaching Robots to Dance

Q: Can you tell us a Little Bit About the Process of Programming Robots to Dance?

A: Programming robots to dance is a complex process that involves a lot of trial and error. We start by mapping out the basic steps and movements that we want the robot to perform. We then use motion capture technology to record a human dancer performing those same movements. From there, we use machine learning algorithms to train the robot to mimic those movements as closely as possible. We also have to take into account factors like balance and coordination, which can be tricky to achieve with a machine.

Q: What are Some of the Biggest Challenges involved in Teaching Robots to Dance?

Ans: One of the biggest challenges is getting the robot to move in a way that is both fluid and precise.

Robots tend to be very rigid in their movements, which can make it difficult to achieve the natural-looking movements that are necessary for a good dance performance.

We also have to make sure that the robot can maintain its balance throughout the dance routine, which can be especially challenging for more complex movements.

Q: What do you See as the Future of Robots in Entertainment?

Ans: I think that robots have the potential to play a big role in live performances and events. We’re already seeing robots being used in everything from music videos to stage shows, and I think that trend is only going to continue. I also think that as robots become more advanced and versatile, they’ll be able to take on even more complex roles in entertainment, such as acting and storytelling.

Q: What are some of the Ethical Considerations Involved in using Robots in Entertainment?

Ans: There are a lot of ethical considerations that come into play when using robots in entertainment.

For example, we need to make sure that the robots are safe to use and that they don’t pose a risk to human performers or audience members.

We also need to think about the impact that robot entertainment might have on society and culture, and whether it could lead to the displacement of human performers.

Q: How do you see Dance Contributing to the Development of Robot Technology?

Ans: I think that dance can be a really valuable tool for advancing robot technology. By teaching robots to dance, we’re able to push the boundaries of what they’re capable of in terms of movement and coordination.

This can help us to develop new algorithms and technologies that can be applied to other areas of robotics as well. Additionally, dance provides a testing ground for new technologies, allowing us to see how well robots can adapt to new and unexpected situations.

Q: What are Some of the Potential Benefits of Teaching Robots to Dance?

Ans: There are many potential benefits to teaching robots to dance.

For one, it can help to improve their overall mobility and coordination, which can be useful in a variety of other applications.

Additionally, it can make robots more adaptable and versatile, allowing them to perform a wider range of tasks.

And of course, there’s the entertainment factor – people love to see robots dance, and it can be a great way to showcase the potential of robot technology to the public.

Q: What do You See as the Future of Robot Dancing?

Ans: I think that we’re just scratching the surface when it comes to robot dancing.

As technology continues to advance, we’ll see robots that are capable of even more complex and impressive dance routines.

And as I mentioned earlier, I think that we’ll also see robots taking on more complex roles in entertainment, such as acting and storytelling.

Ultimately, I believe that robot dancing will become a major part of the entertainment industry, and we’ll see more and more robots taking the stage alongside human performers.


Teaching robots to dance is a challenging but rewarding process that has the potential to push the boundaries of robot technology. As Aaron Saunders, VP at Boston Dynamics, explained in his Q&A session with IEEE Spectrum, dance can help to improve robot mobility, coordination, and versatility, while also providing a valuable testing ground for new technologies. As robots continue to advance and become more capable, we can expect to see them taking on increasingly complex roles in entertainment, from dancing to acting and beyond.


  1. What is Boston Dynamics?

Boston Dynamics is a robotics company that specializes in developing advanced robots for a variety of applications, from military and industrial to entertainment and research.

  1. What is machine learning?

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that allows computers to learn and improve on their own, without being explicitly programmed for every task.

  1. What are some other applications for robot technology?

Robot technology is used in a variety of applications, including manufacturing, healthcare, space exploration, and more.

  1. What are some of the ethical concerns surrounding robot technology?

Some of the ethical concerns surrounding robot technology include safety, privacy, job displacement, and the potential for robots to be used for harmful purposes.

  1. Will robots ever be able to replace human performers in entertainment?

It’s unlikely that robots will ever completely replace human performers in entertainment, as there will always be a demand for the unique creativity and emotion that humans bring to the stage. However, robots may be able to complement human performers and take on more complex roles in the future.