High-Tech Robot Takes a Break From Soccer To Do "Gangnam Style"

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Oct. 22 2012 4:47 PM

High-Tech Robot Takes a Break From Soccer To Do "Gangnam Style"

CHARLI

The “Gangnam Style” moment may be nearly over for us humans, but it’s just catching on with the robots. In a new video, CHARLI, a soccer-playing humanoid robot from Virginia Tech’s Robotics and Mechanics Laboratory, shows that it can pull of some fancy footwork on the dance floor as well as on the field. (In 2011, CHARLI brought home first place in the adult-size division at RoboCup, the World Cup of robotic soccer.) Maybe CHARLI’s horse move could use a little more height, but it definitely has more rhythm than some humans.

This may look like an exercise in ridiculousness, but research in RoboCup has actually led to genuine robotics breakthroughs, as I reported earlier this year after visiting CHARLI and RoMeLa. CHARLI definitely puts Willow Garage’s PR2 robot’s performance of the “Macarena” to shame.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

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