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Dancing cell phones get social and go pffft

Callo, a highly physical cell phone bot out of Simon Fraser University, can dance, walk, and mimic human gestures.

Ji-Dong Yim, a doctoral student at Simon Fraser University, has along with his thesis supervisor Chris Shaw learned to put some emotion into robotic cell phone offspring. Simon Fraser University

We've certainly come a long way from glue-together DIY Transformers phones. Now, meet Callo, a highly physical cell phone bot that can dance, walk, and mimic human gestures, which is amazing considering my handset spends most of its time on standby doing nothing.

Doting parents Ji-Dong Yim and Chris Shaw, scientists from Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts and Technology, have given their 9-inch-tall brainchild (which looks like a Nokia) the AllSpark of life to emote, from slumping his robotic shoulders to waving his arms frantically over, say, a relationship breakup, to even possibly conveying a pffft expression of disgust on his display.

Callo has a physically smart robot sister, too. Like her big bro, the 6-inch-tall Cally can register text-messaged emoticons on her screen and move in tandem with her sibling on the other end of the video call.

Shaw, an associate professor at the Canadian university, says the intent here is to "to explore ways in which we can help social robotic products, such as GPS, interactively communicate with people and build long-term intimacy with them." Which is dandy enough in my book, just so long as one doesn't get too attached to one's phone over human company.

Meanwhile, watch Callo make all the right moves in the video below. We won't be surprised if both "siblings" start breaking into a song-and-breakdance routine before too long.

(Source: Crave Asia)