Ballerina, meet the Balle-Roomba. (A close cousin of the DJ Roomba.) The musically-inclined robot vacuum cleaner took center stage at this year's Biennale Interieur, an international design exhibition held in Kortrijk, Belgium, as part of an exhibit called "SQM: The Quantified Home."
In the video above, designer Pietro Leoni programmed 12 Roombas to "dance" in circles, following steps set to Johann Strauss's "The Blue Danube." After pairing the robots off into couples—six "males" and six "females"—Leoni removed their cleaning equipment, inputted instructions, and positioned them in an abandoned school gym.
The performance was meant to demonstrate technology's impact on the changing concept of home and the perfecting of interior design, but the Roombas themselves weren't exactly perfect. They had no problem following Leon's three-step rhythm, but their sensitivity led to external factors like dust making them change directions or, in other words, lose their footing.
"They're quite accurate but also they make some mistakes," Leoni told Dezeen. "We think robots are really disciplined but sometimes they're not at all. They bump into each other, some of them don't start."
Still, they came pretty close, especially for a robot-only performance. (Other dancing robots, like the scooters used in the latest soon-to-be-viral OK Go music video, are helped by humans. Not so cool.) The flaws just made them more, well, human than dancer—which could be a good thing.
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