Dance, Robot, Dance

 Robots to revive dying dance routines

Humanoid robots could one day serve as prancing libraries of long-forgotten dance routines – able to reproduce them for curious audiences without a moment’s rehearsal. It’s the latest approach to preserving traditional folk dances as the people skilled in performing them gradually die off.

The idea comes from Shin’ichiro Nakaoka and his colleagues at the University of Tokyo, Japan. They used video motion-capture systems to record the movement of a dancer performing a Japanese folk routine called the Aizu-Bandaisan. They turned this data into a limb-motion sequence for a humanoid robot, the HRP-2, made by Japan’s Kawada Industries (Journal of Robotics Research, vol 26, p 829) (see it at tinyurl.com/2wprxg).

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