The University of Science and Technology in Taiwan's announced that they're putting on a very special performance of The Phantom of the Opera on December 27th, in which the two leads will be played by robots. The lead bots (named Thomas and Janet) can both walk, and have silicon facial "muscles" that help them mimic human expressions and mouth movements. There will be two additional robotic thespians, Ringo, a jazz drummer, and Pica, a painter, that move on wheels. The Center for Intelligent Robots at the University says that while they've developed the robots for entertainment purposes, they plan to move toward applying them in service fields. As if upstaging Sarah Brightman with a robot isn't service enough already.

[Thanks, Tim]

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Taiwan casts robots in Phantom of the Opera, Lloyd Webber seen kicking himself repeatedly