Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ballroom Dancing-Going Techno?

Recently I ran across this article about a robot you can ballroom dance with, and wanted to share an excerpt. I'm not sure how I feel about it, although at least you wouldn't feel embarassed if you missed a step or two! I'd love to hear your opinions.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 Posted: 10:47 AM EDT (1447 GMT)
(CNN) -- Those with two left feet may soon be able to take ballroom dancing lessons from a partner with three wheels. The world's first ballroom-dancing robot is set to take to the floor for its first public performance this week at the World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan.

Developed by scientists at Tokhuro University, the Partner Ballroom Dance Robot (PBDR) is able to predict the steps of a human partner based on body movement and react accordingly on its three wheels.
The 1.65 meter robot has a female face, wears a ballgown and comes in bright pink and pastel blue plastic. A male version is also being developed.

Although it can match the movements of a human partner's upper body, Professor Kazuhiro Kosuge, who led the team behind PBDR, said it could not yet perform dance steps. The machine forms part of the 10-day Prototype Robot Exhibition, starting June 9, which gives robotics companies and academic departments the chance to showcase their visions of a future in which robots are a part of everyday life.