Okay, so these aren’t zombie robots. Technically a thing has to be alive before it can die and come back to life as a zombie. But they are robots and they are dancing to thriller, which in itself is pretty impressive.
Why wouldn’t they dress them as zombies for this?
These robots were designed by the French team Aldebaran Robotics, and programmed by the Nonlinear System Laboratory at MIT. (Yeah, I study robot choreography at MIT. No big deal.) They are synchronized over Wi-Fi, with one of the robots actually providing the soundtrack. They come with an x86 AMD Geocode 500 Mhz CPU, 2 GB flash memory, two speakers, vision processing capabilities, Wi-fi connectivity and ethernet port.
From the video description:
At the beginning all the robots are waiting for my signal to start. While dancing, they are constantly synchronizing with each other, so if a robot lags behind they will wait for him and the late robot will accelerate. When I remove a robot from the choreography, the others continue dancing. When he stands up again and resumes his dance, he asks the others for a starting position. Then he goes to this position, and starts dancing. Since he starts with a little latency, he will dances a little faster and the others a little slower to synchronize.
The music is played by another robot, and is a part of the synchronization process : the robots are synchronizing with the music too.
This work is the result of the collaboration between the Nonlinear System Laboratory at MIT (http://web.mit.edu/nsl/www/) and Aldebaran Robotics.
These little guys also love to play soccer.
In some ways these videos are a lot more impressive. There are more robots and some of them do different dance moves, adding to the overall choreography.[h/t: Buzzfeed]