"It looks like they would hurt a lot."
Iconic performer Beyoncé Knowles' Renaissance World Tour is in full swing, and as is probably expected from Queen Bey, pretty much everything about her performance, from her costumes to her staging to — oh, yeah — the robotic arms that have been incorporated into her choreography, have been making waves on social media.
Gotta say, those robotic arms are nothing short of impressive. But according to one expert, they might be more dangerous than they look.
"They aren't looking at what's going on and adjusting," Shariq Hashme, the founder of the — checks notes — robot butler firm Prosper, told Insider of the robo-arms, further estimating that each of the metallic limbs likely costs around $100,000 a pop. "It's moving in a very precise location and you can tell based on how they're moving, that they're moving in a very pre-coordinated way."
So, in other words, if Bey were to miss a beat, she could risk colliding with the arms, which are entirely pre-programmed — and thus, wouldn't react to any unexpected movements on the pop star's behalf. And a collision, says Hashme, could hurt.
"If those things somehow mess up their path and hit Beyoncé," the robot-maker continued, "it looks like they would hurt a lot."
— Zach NGouah NGally (@__ZACHY) June 12, 2023
As for why the arms cost so much apiece, Hashme noted that the robo-limbs appear to fall into what the robotics industry calls a "seven degree of freedom," meaning that the machines have a more versatile and tactile movement range than most other bots.
"What that means is the arm can reach any position and any orientation of its end effector in an infinite number of ways," Hashme told Insider, "whereas with a six-degree-of-freedom arm, you can only get there in one way."
"One way you think about it is, the human elbow can kind of move around, even though your hand is fixed and that's not true for a six," he continued. "There's a big difference in the price between a seven and a six."
But if you're now concerned for Queen Bey's safety, you probably shouldn't stress too much.
"They can fail, but if you've run the motion a bunch of times then they probably won't fail," Hashme told Insider, adding that there's probably an "emergency stop button behind the scenes anyway."
Besides, as Insider notes, this is Beyoncé we're talking about. She's been on this tour for a few weeks now, and has yet to miss a beat.
More on robotic limbs: IKEA Trembles as Scientists Invent Flat Packable Robot
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