Today a video of humans doing mean things to a robot, started gaining traction across the internet. The interest grew rapidly, largely because the robot, who moves in a very human-like way, starts fighting back.
Sorry guys, the video is fake.
While it’s really well done, the robot is CGI and the humans are almost perfectly choreographed to make it seem real.
The first giveaway should have been the watermark on the video – Bosstown Dynamics, an obvious play on the actual robotics company Boston Dynamics.
As with most videos online, there’s quickly copies of it and like Elon Musk, many don’t care about crediting the original source. If you did manage to see the original, you would have seen the title of the video was actually ‘Boston Dynamics: New Robots Now Fight Back’ by Corridor Digital, your second clue.
The third clue is when the robot grabs the hockey stick. You’ll notice how fast this movement was. While industrial robots can move quickly, often faster than the human eye, humanoid robots like this, always move at a much slower speed.
The fourth and final clue is when they sound a siren right next to the robots head. The robot reacts like a human and shies away from the sound. Robots would never do that, they certainly don’t have microphones where we have ears and even if they did, they wouldn’t feel pain from it.
Despite these few clues, the video is tricking a lot of people online. The official video is about to crack 3 million videos and many of those would have left the video concerned of a robot uprising, especially if we treat them bad. Hardly, instead we should appreciate the small, amazing team who were able to pull this off.
Coridor Digital is actually an America production studio which does digital effects, based in LA, they’re known for creating a number of TV commercials and short-form online videos, they even featured in YouTube Rewind back in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The original video (below) also has a link in the description to a behind the scenes video on how they created the whole thing.
The guys say they were inspired by scenes in the actual Boston Dynamics videos where the robot’s stability and robustness were tested by humans pushing on the robots and seeing them respond to steady themselves.
Armed with a motion-tracking suit by Xsens, they began creating their video which takes a real human who is digitally removed from the footage, replaced by a CGI robot, which is powered by the motion tracking data from the human. This is what ultimately gives the robot its eerily human-like movements.
The great thing about having a human in the environment, like when they throw and catch boxes with the robot, is that the humans get to see a real thing, an actual person, so the whole thing becomes a lot more believable.
The break down of how this was made is actually fantastic, if you’re interested in film making or 3D, then you should definitely spend the 12 minutes to watch the whole behind the scenes video.