HRP-4C is mostly being developed for the entertainment industry–for use in amusement parks, for example, or as an exercise teacher–and is not yet ready to assist with daily chores.
Were it not for the knobby-kneed metallic gams, it might be hard to tell which of the five dancers in flouncy yellow minidresses is the robot.
But there she is, Yamaha’s HRP-4C, headlining a performance called “Dance Robot LIVE! – HRP-4C Cybernetic Human” at Tokyo’s Digital Content Expo over the weekend.
Sharing the stage with a group of singing/dancing humans is just the latest trick from the 5-foot (ish) humanoid from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology who can sing from a preselected list of tunes and struts the catwalk in her spare time.
Reportedly designed to look like an average Japanese woman between the ages of 19 and 29, HRP-4C has 30 motors in her body that allow her to walk and move her arms and 8 facial motors for blinking, smiling, expressing emotions akin to anger and surprise–and, apparently, working it like a pop star.
For her weekend performance, HRP-4C joined four human dancers to move and sing to a lip-synced Vocaloid version of “Deatta Koro no Yo ni” (“Every Little Thing”) by Kaori Mochida. SAM-san, a real-life dancer/choreographer, produced the routine.
“Dance Robot LIVE! – HRP-4C Cybernetic Human” is the culmination of a year-long effort to teach the humanoid to dance. We’re not sure if she’s ready for “So You Think You Can Dance: The Robot Edition,” but she sure beats some of the other robo-dancers we’ve spotted lately.
The HRP-4C robot was not programmed to please families like Asimo. Nor will she save/destroy humanity like a Terminator. Rather, she’s taking the fashion world by storm as Tokyo’s next top model. UPDATE VIDEO:
But can a hulking robot be a model?
Even though the HRP-4C packs 42 motors, at just over 5 feet tall and 95 pounds in weight, she’s still thin enough to guilt teenage girls everywhere into puking up their lunches. And the manga-inspired face, with a tiny nose and large eyes, should keep the plastic surgery market afloat in even the most dire economic climate.
Unlike modern models, however, the HRP-4C walks down the runway with constantly bent knees and it fully capable of smiling.
In case you are looking for an HRP-4C of your own, a similar model will cost you $3 million. Otherwise, you can check her out again during the Tokyo fashion show on March 23rd. [Straights Times via Engadget and Getty Images]
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- Robots and Humans Dancing Together – The World is Getting Weirder (video) (singularityhub.com)
- Behold The Future Of Pop Music (perezhilton.com)
- Videos: Cybernetic Human Robot HRP-4C Dancing (crunchgear.com)