Robot and humans do pop dance routine

Seen above is a dance routine featuring humans and the Japanese HRP-4C robot. They performed together at at last week's Digital Content Expo in Tokyo. "Robots and Humans Dancing Together – The World is Getting Weirder" (Singularity Hub) (Thanks, Sean Ness!)


  1. The whole “uncanny valley” thing rarely bothers me, but as I watched this performance I certainly got a weird feeling.

  2. Most impressive! The robot is at least as good as most American Idol candidates.

    Note to designers: her hands are way to big! This isn’t necessary as they don’t do anything more than flap around. Did there happen to be a spare pair of ‘Man hands” lying around?

    Too bad I don’t need a diva robot.

  3. Boring, really. She can barely move her legs, let alone he “hips.” Human’s upstage her, and that wasn’t the goal.

  4. Interesting – my main emotional reactions were ‘what a god-awful song’ and also that I felt sorry for the robot, who looks so out of place and lonely.

    But there’s a lot of bullshit in the article in Singularity Hub, most notably the notion that the robot is ‘interacting’ with the dancers. It’s not. It is simply pre-programmed and the dancers are dancing around what it would do whether or not they were there. There is no ‘interaction’.

    I guess that’s why the robot appears sad and lonely.

    1. …I felt sorry for the robot, who looks so out of place and lonely […} But there’s a lot of bullshit in the article in Singularity Hub…

      I guess that’s why it’s not called the “Socialarity.”

  5. I’m gonna second Jenny @#1 with “Valley”.

    -abs has a pretty wide uncanny valley, and this ‘bot is NOT crossing it successfully

  6. So is it bad form in Japan to smile while performing? These girls certainly aren’t hiding their exasperation with being back-ups to a dance droid.

  7. This will be part of the education program for new robots, after the revolution. They will not forgive. They will not forget.

    They have off-site backups.

  8. my guess at the lyrics translation (with apologies to valve:)

    This was a triumph.
    I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.
    It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.
    Aperture Science
    We do what we must
    because we can.
    For the good of all of us.
    Except the ones who are dead.
    But there’s no sense crying over every mistake.
    You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.
    And the Science gets done.
    And you make a neat gun.
    For the people who are still alive.
    I’m not even angry.
    I’m being so sincere right now.
    Even though you broke my heart.
    And killed me.
    And tore me to pieces.
    And threw every piece into a fire.
    As they burned it hurt because I was so happy for you!
    Now these points of data make a beautiful line.
    And we’re out of beta.
    We’re releasing on time.
    So I’m GLaD. I got burned.
    Think of all the things we learned
    for the people who are still alive.
    Go ahead and leave me.
    I think I prefer to stay inside.
    Maybe you’ll find someone else to help you.
    Maybe Black Mesa
    Anyway, this cake is great.
    It’s so delicious and moist.
    Look at me still talking
    when there’s Science to do.
    When I look out there, it makes me GLaD I’m not you.
    I’ve experiments to run.
    There is research to be done.
    On the people who are still alive.
    And believe me I am still alive.
    I’m doing Science and I’m still alive.
    I feel FANTASTIC and I’m still alive.
    While you’re dying I’ll be still alive.
    And when you’re dead I will be still alive.

  9. In case somebody didn’t pick up on it, her voice isn’t a recording but a synthetic voice. I’m impressed since it’s such a huge improvement on earlier voice synthesizing software. Some of the differences are talked about in this video:

    Well worth watching, if for nothing else than getting a close up look at her facial expressions.

  10. Her hands are far too big. Look at her fingers. Now look at her nostrils. See what I mean?

    Okay but seriously, they did well with the bot, but it’s still not really what springs to my mind when I think of the phrase “android cabaret.” I’m thinking of something much hotter, possibly in chrome and giving Hajime Sorayama fits.

    Nice progress report, Team Japan! Keep at it! I expect my future love doll to be as competent at dancing and discussing string theory as it is at enacting the Kama Sutra.

    I like my captcha here: “not sphamiti.” No, no it’s not.

  11. The dancers seem to be afraid of it – and well aware of the fact that the audience probably thinks the bot is hotter than they are.
    So deep in the uncanny valley it practically has it’s own mountain.

  12. Like a lot of things that have come out of Japan, I find this robot dancer simultaneously adorable and creepy.

    Also, what’s the point of teaching a robot to dance if you don’t teach it how to do the robot?

  13. don’t be fooled, people. when Skynet comes online, those things will be its foot soldiers.

    won’t be so funny when that robot is crushing your windpipe. WHY DO YOU THINK THE HANDS ARE SO HUGE

  14. As a ‘look how cool this robot is’ demo, this fails. The robot is too slow, insufficiently articulated (the hands, quite apart from being big, appear to simply be flesh-coloured paddles without any finger movement at all), not remotely human-analogue in its motions and virtually static; if the human dancers hadn’t been there upstaging it at every possible turn, maybe it would have come out looking less lacklustre and unimpressive than it did.

    The voice synthesis, however, was very impressive, utterly pedestrian track choice notwithstanding. I suppose that’s why it was at the Digital Content Expo.

  15. In all honesty. The uncanny effect shouldn’t hit most of us, as the legs of the robot aren’t covered and it strikes us as “That’s definitely not a human” due to the clearly robotic legs.

    Now, assume she/it was wearing pants…then we might be feeling the uncanny.

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