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HRP-4C girlbot grooves with go-go dancers

Yamaha's HRP-4C adds "dancer" to her resume as she joins four human performers for a Tokyo performance called "Dance Robot LIVE! - HRP-4C Cybernetic Human."

Girlbot onstage with dancers
HRP-4C is mostly being developed for the entertainment industry--for use in amusement parks, for example, or as an exercise teacher--and is not yet ready to assist with daily chores. Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Were it not for the knobby-kneed metallic gams, it might be hard to tell which of the five dancers in flouncy yellow minidresses is the robot.

But there she is, Yamaha's HRP-4C, headlining a performance called "Dance Robot LIVE! - HRP-4C Cybernetic Human" at Tokyo's Digital Content Expo over the weekend.

Sharing the stage with a group of singing/dancing humans is just the latest trick from the 5-foot (ish) humanoid from Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology who can sing from a preselected list of tunes and struts the catwalk in her spare time.

Reportedly designed to look like an average Japanese woman between the ages of 19 and 29, HRP-4C has 30 motors in her body that allow her to walk and move her arms and 8 facial motors for blinking, smiling, expressing emotions akin to anger and surprise--and, apparently, working it like a pop star.

For her weekend performance, HRP-4C joined four human dancers to move and sing to a lip-synced Vocaloid version of "Deatta Koro no Yo ni" ("Every Little Thing") by Kaori Mochida. SAM-san, a real-life dancer/choreographer, produced the routine.

"Dance Robot LIVE! - HRP-4C Cybernetic Human" is the culmination of a year-long effort to teach the humanoid to dance. We're not sure if she's ready for "So You Think You Can Dance: The Robot Edition," but she sure beats some of the other robo-dancers we've spotted lately.

(Via Pink Tentacle)