I am sorry for the pun, but it was too easy to hear ABBA playing in the background while watching this robot with dangly legs sway back and forth.
We’ve featured robots who can jump around, like the tiny Salto, as well as robots who can shoot guns and drive cars, but I believe it might be the first time we present a robot who can dance. Sort of. This one was created by researchers from the University of Tokyo, but it does not dance on its legs intrinsically – it is mostly operated via a quadcopter design.
Credit: Azumi Maekawa / Youtube
To be more exact, its legs just skim across the surface, which basically allows it to simulate a gait that looks a lot like dancing. Your definition of dancing versus the definition of dancing as seen in the video above can be challenged, by all means, but this is the first time where these two technologies have been combined to work together.
The robot is equipped with a physics simulator that senses the velocity of the quadrotor (another term for quadcopter), hence automatically causing the legs to move. Azumi Maekawa is the lead researcher on the robot, who presented it at the Siggraph conference in Vancouver and he presented it as more of a visual experience, as, for now, it does not actually serve an actual purpose, but more of a way to showcase a concept.
This robot could mean that we might, in the near future, see a new way we interact with and create things such as animatronics. For now, we can enjoy this awkward, flamingo-reminiscent dancing moves of the dangly robot, while we wait for future upgrades.