We admit that we occasionally watch reality shows, especially when we hear that Apple’s co-founder is appearing on one. Steve Wozniak first appeared on a Segway to meet his partner Karina Smirnoff for his stint on “Dancing With the Stars.” We guess that was so he could convince her that he had some physical ability. We really like that he tried to turn his performance into something mathmatecal during rehearsal. The two performed a cha cha to the tune “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and unfortunately got the lowest score of the evening, a 13 out of 30.
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We love robotic animal toys almost as much as the genuine article, with the exception being the annoying Furby, even though that probably doesn’t qualify as an animal. Hal the Hamster sings and dances to Styx’s “Mr. Roboto.” Standing 6-inches, he needs 3 AAA batteries to do his thing and has a price of only $9.99. We think we might have programmed him with something more appropriate, such as “Chewy, Chewy” or “Spinning Wheel.” Then again, he is wearing a spacesuit.
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Since most robots are made to serve, it’s nice to discover one that solely entertains. Engineered Arts’ RoboThespians speak, sing, tell stories, and do a dance step or two. You can watch it perform Robert Shaw in “Jaws,” something very “Alien,” “C3PO,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” and our fave of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. If you are fortunate enough to live in the UK, you can see them perform at The Eden Project in Cornwall. If not, there is always YouTube. It ain’t Shakespeare, but it is amusing.
Read More | technabob
It’s a sad state of affairs when a company creates a commercial with a human competing for a top dance spot with a robotic device. Remember Miuro? Sony has devised its own dancing bot to be released in the States sometime this spring. Palm-size, Rolly uses the reflection of the floor to create an acoustical image, with speakers at 180º angles. Considering how identically the two bots operate, it might be a better alternative to pit them against each other.
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Nobody makes plain t-shirts anymore. T-Groove is the latest in apparel with a built-in power unit and sound sensor which reacts to both the beat and frequency of the tunes being played. Obviously designed for those that seek attention on the dance floor, it can also be a fine companion to those who don’t have a date. The shirt requires 4 AAA batteries (not included) and the pack is removable so you can wash out all that partying you did the night before. Made of 100% cotton, it is available in 3 sizes for £19.99 (~$39.70) at Electric Planet.
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Say hello to Rolly, the dancing egg. This Sony MP3 player can spin around with sensors that allow volume control when turned clockwise or counterclockwise or switch music with a push or pull. Weighing only 11 oz., it holds 1 GB of flash memory and built-in speakers. Bluetooth capable, it is programmable with software that will analyze music and then create choreography for the little bugger. It also doubles as an alarm clock. Rolly can keep going for about five hours before needing a recharge, and will hold 100 to 600 tunes, depending on the complexity of its dance steps. Only available at this point in Japan, its MSRP is ~$354.00.
We don’t know how we managed to overlook this cute bot until we came across him on Wired. Keepon resides in Kyoto and generally works as a child-development research tool. This past summer his owners Hideki Kozima, a roboticist and child psychologist, and programmer Marek Michalowski introduced him to the rock band Spoon. The video “Keepon Dancing to Spoon’s ‘Don’t You Evah‘” was born. Kozima is his costar and we know that you will recognize several robotic cameos in the last shot. Spoon and Keepon will be the headliners at Wired’s NextFest which begins September 10.
Read More | Wired