Crikey those Japanese roboticists are goddamned determined. Without even missing a balance-threatening beat after the cyberclockwork embarrassments that were Asimo and Aiko, they’ve wheeled a new proto-Terminator out of the lab. Now, the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology is presenting to the world their all-singing, all-dancing HRP-4C Gynoid(i) Hmm. HRP-4C. Not exactly a roll-off-the-tongue kind of nickname, is it, really? I think I’m going to call it Harpy.

The YouTube clip above shows Harpy on stage doing a song and dance with some human girls as backup.(ii) Harpy’s creators have managed the build a robot so astonishingly sophisticated that it can move and correct its balance throughout an entire dance routine without faltering. They have, at the same time, demonstrated an impressive inability to get her body dimensions correct. Can anyone say ‘man hands’? Wait – can anyone say ‘orangutan arms’?

It’s not that the inventors haven’t given any thought at all to Harpy’s anatomy – she’s also done a little bit of modeling on the fashion catwalk, where it is obvious that the NIAIST drawing board wasn’t all doodles of just hydraulics and micro-relays.



Just look at that shiny titanium ass! I can hear what you’re thinking – she’s so sexy you want to marry her! Well, you can.


It’s OK – it’s a wedding. You’re allowed to cry.(iii)






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Footnotes:

  1. Gynoid? Now there’s an expression that I don’t see catching on. []
  2. These Japanese tech folks need a bit of a refresher in marketing methinks. Demonstration Tip #1: don’t display your product next to something that is visibly superior. []
  3. Billy Jean? Why? Someone please tell me why? []

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