During the last 24 hours a robot called Titan has been creating huge waves across the internet as viewers have been wowed by impressive videos of the robot dancing, singing, making jokes, and walking with incredible agility. With its bright flashing lights, terminator style looks, and hoards of humans adoring him with no fear for their own safety, the videos of Titan feel like they have been stripped right out of a movie scene. In true movie form, one can't help but envision the robot suddenly malfunctioning and destroying the feeble, helpless humans around him in an burst of terror. Too bad Titan is a fake.
Although robots with many of Titan's skills do indeed exist, they are usually powered by major financial backing, take years of development, and are still quite a rarity. Suddenly out of nowhere comes Titan the robot into the spotlight from Cyberstein, a small entertainment company from the UK. While several bloggers and the like are praising Titan with amazement, a little research uncovers that Titan is not a true robot at all - there is a person inside of it!
Real or not, the Titan "robot" provides fantastic entertainment as this is in fact what he has been created for. Cyberstein Robotics is an entertainment company that has been around for over a decade. They are in the business of bringing their human encased robotic entertainer to major events around the world, no doubt for a major fee. Cyberstein may not win any awards for breakthroughs in artificial intelligence or robotic design, but I have to hand to them for creating some pretty awesome entertainment. True to their roots as an entertainment company, Cyberstein has a sleek looking website.
Titan has been on the show circuit for 10 years, performing at more than 3,000 events in locations from Dubai to London to Beijing. It is fascinating how the internet allows for certain ideas or products to spring from relatively obscurity to web sensation overnight, often with the story completely wrong. For whatever reason, Titan is now having this moment. Some blogger or otherwise saw the videos and linked to them and thus was planted the seed that has caused tens of thousands across the net to gape in wonder at what they believe is a true, autonomous robot.
For what its worth, the videos sure are entertaining, and although Titan may not be the real deal himself, certainly there is a growing legion of robots from ASIMO to the HRP-4C that truly are the real deal. Sooner or later those movie scenes of robots wreaking havoc may not just be movie scenes after all.