Stories tagged dancing

It's Friday, so it's time for a new Science Friday video. Science Friday
Science Friday
Courtesy Science Friday
"Evolutionary psychologist Nick Neave filmed men dancing, converted the videos into dancing avatars and asked women to rate the avatars' dancing ability. The researchers found that the highly-rated male dancers had some moves in common. (Some advice: Shake that right knee.) Tracy Inman, co-director of The Ailey School, has trained thousands of dancers and responds to the findings.

Sure, it can dance, but it can't feel love: A dancing robot, but not actually the Promet.    (photo by Thomas Hawk on
Sure, it can dance, but it can't feel love: A dancing robot, but not actually the Promet. (photo by Thomas Hawk on
Taking a major stride in the international race to create the perfect DDR machine, Scientists at Tokyo University have taught a robot to dance. Or, as some would say, programmed a robot to dance. Either way, the HRP-2 robot, or Promet, now knows how to dance. Using video-capturing techniques to record human dance movements, the scientist have taught Promet the Aizu Bandaisan, a Japanese folk dance.

This may seem fantastic to some, but the rest of us know that dancing robots are nothing new.

The achievement here isn’t making a robot that can think (Promet can dance, but he won’t be doing do your calc homework), but making one that can mimic human movement so well. As this sort of technology advances, we can probably expect to see robots being taught to do a lot more than dancing. The military, in particular, has expressed considerable interest in robot education (as it were). Not so much in teaching them how to dance, though, more in teaching them how to rescue some soldiers and kill other soldiers. The US military is developing a remote controlled “Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot,” or “BEAR” for rescuing wounded soldiers from dangerous areas, and last year Samsung created a robot for the South Korean military capable of shooting targets up to 500 meters away. And Skynet is developing robots that can look and act just like Californian governors.

For now, though, I guess it’s pretty funny just to see robots dancing.