So you think you can dance the robot?
Japanese robotics wizard Dr. GIY has posted a video of his feline Manoi kit robot doing a very un-robotic dance, choreographed to an anime theme song.
Dr. GIY is a robotics whiz in Japan known for creating amazing fighting robots that win combat tournaments. His talent lies not only in building or modifying pint-size humanoids, but in programming them. In the video above, he shows off his chops by making a modified Manoi AT01 humanoid kit robot trip the light fantastic.
Chances are you've never heard of the new Japanese animated show "HeartCatch PreCure!" (you're not missing much). Anyway, this choreographed tribute mimics a dance routine in the show's ending credits. Not bad for a stubby little plastic toy.
Stock Manoi AT01s, available in Japan from toymaker Kyosho for some $1,600, are about 13 inches tall and contain 17 servomotors. Dr. GIY has modified several Manois, including the feline version above, which he calls "Myanoi."
Myanoi and Manoi Go!, breaking out in the video below from last year, seem to have a number of custom parts. They likely include gyroscopes, accelerometers, high-torque servomotors and, of course, that head spinner.
Though he spends thousands of dollars modifying his Manois, Dr. GIY's engineering budgets are nowhere near those of large Japanese corporations and science centers that have also programmed humanoid robots to dance. His robots move with fluidity and grace, a testament to the spirit of independent hobbyists fueled by passion for their art.