Robot breakdancing brings in the Chinese New Year (video)

China's New Year celebrations are very impressive. This year, the organisers decided that synchronised dancing robots should join in their broadcast.
Written by Hana Stewart-Smith, Contributor

We're no strangers to robots doing adorable --- often creepy things.

This year's Chinese television gala to welcome in the Chinese New Year featured a strange performance from a squadron of synchronised dancing robots.

Have a look, and enjoy the great moment around the 00:40s mark where one of the robots on the left seems to forget what it's there for --- just like real life.

I have to admit that I'm not quite as impressed with this dance troupe as I was with the synchronised Nao dancers, who put these guys to shame. But, I was somewhat won over by the break dance interlude.

Last year everyone was impressed (and equally underwhelmed) when Japan revealed Asimo, a robot capable of pouring out a cup of tea. As a Brit, this fulfilled any possible requirements I could ever have in a robot, but most people seem to want more and more from our robotic companions.

China always puts on incredible displays and celebrations. The 2008 Beijing Olympics set an incredibly expectation for London to try and match this year, although there was more than a little controversy over the use of CGI-graphics in their firework displays.

The footage of the opening ceremony that was broadcast was altered with the use of computer graphics to create more fireworks, but the display put on by veteran director Zhang Yimou set a demanding precedent for China --- and the world --- to live up to.

Admittedly, this robot dance display doesn't quite match up, but the event is not quite of the same scale. It's an awful lot to ask from a small group of robotic dancers.

Perhaps, for the 2012 London Olympics later this year, the organisers should consider the use of a big, synchronised robot dance group? They could even perform back up routines for 2012 Olympics favourite, Japan's digital idol Hatsune Miku, to display how far the world's technology has actually come.

On second thoughts, they might be safer taking the full CGI route to cut down costs?


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