Dancing Divabot performs on stage (w/ Video)

Nov 03, 2010 weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- A singing, dancing humanoid recently joined a live group of dancers to perform.

Developed by the country's biggest public research organization, Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the new variant of HRP-4, the female robot HRP-4C deemed "Divabot," has a realistic face, movable features and even mimics human-sounding breaths.

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Diva-bot's intricate software creates complicated movements such as jumping, dancing and even balancing. Using a mouse, those with zero robotic expertise are meant to find Diva-bot easily operable, which may or may not be a good thing considering how complex the robot is.

Comparable to the software commonly used in CG character animation, Diva-bot's positioning can be controlled by clicking on the different parts and dragging them to the desired position, creating a sequence of key poses that the software generates, making the robot move.

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The utilizes two primary technologies, using a real singer as a model. Researchers recorded the model's every move as she sung a Japanese song. They used VocalListener to synthesize the singing voice on the computer, and imitate the singing voice. For the , they used a new technology, Vocawatcher, which studies a person singing to replicate the expressions naturally. They then mapped the data onto HRP-4C and voila--Diva-bot was brought to life.

A member of the institute said they want to create a new content industry with the technology.

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User comments : 14

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not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
The moves are very precise. It looks sick. Maybe it is because the moves are too precise. Add some "drunken man" moves :)
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
Ladies and gentlemen we all gonna be kicking now on robots instead of Britney Spears or U2... Really crazy how fast robots are developing!
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
There is a syndrome where we feel uncomfortable with animation or robots which look and act too much like us. I'm sure someone knows the name.
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
what they need to add is more unilateral shrugging like deltoid movements, thats what the other dancers do and adds more expression, in fact its hard for humans to lift the hands up in the air while not visibly engaging the trapezius and the levator scapulae. Overall its impressive, but i am still waiting for a Moonboy robot to do the Melbourne shuffle
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
The robot might impress some scientists, but the real girls are much more agile and attractive. For the time being robots belong on the factory floor instead of the dance stage.
4 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
They should have had her do the The Robot dance she would have been excellant at it and it would have made an enjoyable humorous Act. It perhaps would have made her less intimidating for those who fear the Android Age.
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
I was at first shocked by the uncanny valley plastic looking image at the top, but I was actually pretty impressed with its movement.

Still totally horrific close up, but the complexity and fluidity of the movements are high enough from a distance that it kind of looks real. If you squint a bit.

Definitely needs better balance and more speed. It won't look totally real until it doesn't have a face and body made out of plastic though. I'll prefer the more metallic looking killer robots until they can drag the "realistic" ones out of the uncanny valley.

Good effort though.
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
millions in robotics tech and what do they do with it? make dancing robots. man, im losing faith, lol
1 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
The robot is pretty creepy impressive, but the real girls are more interesting.
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
Will shortly replace many more "service economy" workers! In 10 yrs they'll be mowing lawns - No More Gardeners, Burger Flippers, Janitors, WalMart Greeters, Dish Washers, Waiters, Car Washers ........
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
The Japanese are once again corralling a future business industry that will generate untold sums of money. What if anything are WE doing in the U.S. to keep up with them? At this pace, they will own the robotic future, and we will pay the price.
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
It didn't even do the robot. I'm disappointed.
1 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
They present the Robot as a big thing. Looking at the video, the only big thing is the interactive software to design the choreography.

Basically, the robot only needs a USB socket, a small processor (8 bits industrial processors, at $0.05 a piece, would be enough), and some D/A circuitry.

Profoundly unimpressive. Now, had the robot been able to correct for wind, slippery floor, or something else, then you could really talk about a "humanoid robot". But as it is, it only follows orders, that actually could be on punched cards from the 1960s.
not rated yet Nov 07, 2010
Wow, they almost have the jerkiness out. When are they and Disney going to figure out that live movement doesn't instantly accelerate or decelerate? Does it take a genius to see that? Computer controlled servo's have been capable of varying acceleration for many years and yet every single robot I've seen still stops and starts movement with almost instant acceleration, just like people who imitate it.

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