Robots dancing 'Gangnam Style' never gets old

If you've never seen 'bots dancing to Psy's breakout hit, you should. Guaranteed it will make you feel better about the impending robot takeover.

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Flashing the victory sign. Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

If robots are going to pull off world domination, it will help them to be aware of their supplicants' pop culture preferences. So it's no surprise to see bots dancing "Gangnam Style" in the video below.

Yes, that craze peaked in 2012, but a couple of months ago, the "Gangnam Style" video hit a record 2 billion views on YouTube, making it by far the most popular video ever uploaded to the site. The vid below will probably never reach that milestone, but it's worth watching for the robots' impressively smooth interpretation of the hit by Korean pop phenom Psy.

Jon Timmis and James Hilder of the York Robotics Laboratory at the UK's University of York put the demo together for this year's Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, an annual festival showcasing cutting-edge science and technology.

"We find the Gangnam Style dance is a great short demo to engage children (and adults!) in the world of robotics," Hilder told Crave.

The dancing robots are adapted versions of the Robotis Bioloid, which is built from a DIY educational robotics kit. Robotis had already taught the Bioloid to dance; Timmis and Hilder changed the servos and redesigned the bodies to mount the media player, then set the little humanoids loose to shake their bot booties.

"The challenges are synchronizing the robots, keeping them upright, and stopping them shaking themselves to bits," Hilder said.

We have, of course, seen robots shimmy before (yes, even "Gangnam Style"), but somehow the idea of our future overlords having a sense of humor, and a few good dance moves, never stops being comforting.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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