For gentlemen lacking a date, or those unlucky enough to be left high and dry at the local dance club – help is finally at hand. The Partner Ballroom Dance Robot may not be much of a conversationalist, but it is quite a mover. Never refusing a dance, no matter how many times its
feet wheels are stood on, or beer is spilt down its dress.
The robot was developed at Tohoku University, and using a variety of sensors is able to analyze its partner’s movements; figuring out how best to accompany him with its waist, shoulders, elbows, and neck. Its wheels allowing it to glide across the dance floor in any given direction.
Despite this dancing dexterity, the robot is actually part of a plan to develop a machine that can take care of the elderly. The goal being to create a robot that can make an educated guess about what a patient wants, or is about to do. Research leader Kazuhiro Kosuge explaining, “Machines or robots would be able to preempt trouble if they can find what their partners want from what is heard and seen.”
In the meantime though it’s dancing all the way. Plus for any ladies lacking a partner, there’s no need to fret: a male version is in the works. However rumours that it will be programmed to continually try and cop a drunken feel and then insist on going out for a kebab or curry have yet to be confirmed.