10 Awesome Videos of Actual Robots Dancing

By Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg
The internet is awash in robot dance videos, that is, people attempting to dance like robots. Often lost in Google searches are the true gems: videos of actual robots attempting to dance like people. Here is an entirely subjective top ten list of various efforts to program machines to shake it. 

10. NASA Rover

See web-only content:

Starring: NASA's ATHLETE Rover, aka All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer 
Courtesy of: NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, Internet Archive
Claim to Fame: ATHLETE is being developed for lunar exploration, and can both walk and roll. [Insert moonwalk joke here.] 

9. DIY Dancebot

Starring: BeatBots' Spazzi
Courtesy of: BeatBots and MAKE Magazine
Claim to Fame: You can make your own Spazzi with parts printed by a 3D printer. 

8. Slow Dance

See web-only content:

Starring: HiTEC's RoboNova-1
Courtesy of: HiTEC, Internet Archive
Claim to Fame: RoboNova-1 can also breakdance

7. Android Hack

Starring: Google's Android figure (hacked with new mechanical components) 
Courtesy of: Carsten Avenhaus
Claim to Fame: These little guys have been to space! 

6. Bhangra Robot

Starring: Kondo's KHR-2HV
Courtesy of: YouTube user fuzzyviv
Claim to Fame: KHR-2HV has also been hacked to have an iPhone head, with touch interface.

5. Robot Pop Star

Starring: The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology's HRP-4C
Courtesy of: The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Claim to Fame: HRP-4C can mimmic facial expressions.

4. Breakdancing Robot

Starring: Manoi GO, a modified version of Kyosho's Manoi AT01
Courtesy of: Dr. GIY
Claim to Fame: Manoi GO also performed at the 6th Robo-One Gate Dance Competition

3. K-Pop Robots

Starring: From the logos, it seems these robots are by a lab at KUT, Korea University of Technology.  
Courtesy of: Yongchul Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology 
Claim to Fame: These robots do their best imitation of the Wonder Girls' actual moves

2. Music Video: Beck's "Hell Yes" 

Starring: Sony's Dream Robot, aka QRIO
Courtesy of: Interscope 
Claim to Fame: It took programmers three weeks to choreograph this dance. 

1. Music Video: Spoon's "Don't You Evah" 

Starring: BeatBots' Keepon
Courtesy of: BeatBots and WIRED Magazine
Claim to Fame: Keepon has camera eyes and a microphone nose, and four axes of motion: turning 180°, nodding 40°, rocking side to side 25° and bobbing up and down.

BeatBots' Keepon, designed by Marek Michalowski and Hideki Kozima, wins for being the most expressive and fluid dancer of the bunch. Because dancing isn't about elaborate moves; it's about style and rhythm, and looking adorable doesn't hurt either.

If you see any amazing robot dance videos missing from this list, please add them in the comments. 

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