Spot is the yellow robot dog that you might have seen walking around on the campus. During the opening of tech-festival YouNite last Thursday, the robot danced with Codarts student Melody.

“Melody came to us and said: I want to use the dance to tell a story about the relationship between people and robots. For this, we made a video in which Spot walks around the campus and plays hide-and-seek with Melody. Eventually they meet on stage where they dance together,” says Josephine Lugt of tech platform Yes!Delft, which bought the robot dog a year and a half ago. “The message is: people should not be afraid of robots, because together we can make beautiful things.”

Dancing rehearsals

To make Spot dance, Yes!Delft installed software in the robot dog to programme the music and movements. “It has been a very interesting process,” says Sylvestre Maduro from Yes!Delft. “We did many rehearsals with Melody and Spot. The robot had fallen maybe a thousand times. So if you see scratches on Spot, it’s probably from the dance rehearsals.”

Scientific purposes

So far, Yes!Delft is using Spot for scientific purposes. For example, they have taken Spot to Amsterdam Central Station to help Dutch Railways collect data.