So You Think Your Robot Can Dance (Videos)
When nerdy robots attend high school dances, do they do "the human" or just the "electric slide"?
If you've never heard of the Robo-One Gate Competition, boy are you in for a really weird ride. Robot enthusiasts from all over Japan gathered at the end of November and let their bipedal robots get down and boogie. The Robo-One Gate is an off-shoot of the Robo-One competition and has evolved from fighting to dancing. This 6th iteration of the event had more than a dozen competitors each vying for the crowd's approval. In the end, only one could be the newest robotic dance champion: Ryuki. You can check out my favorite robot dances, followed by Ryuki's demo after the break.
The Robo-One Gate dance-off took place during the International Robot Exhibition. While iREX was all about marketing and international networking, the dance contest was much less formal. Amateur engineers often had to assist their robots as they fell or misbehaved. I'm impressed by the sheer insanity of the costumes and ingenuity in matching jerky robotic movements with equally staccatic songs. The entire event just goes to show how much people love their robots. (I fear some may actually love their robots). As humanoid automatons become more sophisticated and more agile, these competitions are going to become far less laughable. For now though, feel free to be amused.
[screen capture and video credits: IKETOMU]