Yukata-clad robots party down in Tokyo

While these robotic creatures don't have such lofty goals as colonizing the moon or caring for the elderly, there's nothing wrong with teaching a new 'bot old tricks, especially when it can turn around and teach actual humans how to bust a move. In the latest episode of Japanese robotics completely outshining the rest of the world's attempts, a group of children (and a few parents) gathered around a "wa" -- better understood as a dancing robot all dressed up for the occasion -- to bring out a gyrating side they never knew possible. The 35-centimeter tall dancing machine reportedly sports a face, arms, legs, and most of the phalanges you'd expect to see, as well as "joints" throughout the frame to give it lifelike abilities while breaking it down. While we're not exactly sure how this little guy (or girl) was programmed, nor if it would make a suitable practice partner for the vertically challenged, the possibilities here are limited only by our imagination (and its battery life). It seems that we're getting ever closer to relying on robots to convey meaningful information to other humans autonomously, and while learning how to get down on the dance floor from something that needs to be routinely oiled may seem a bit, um, unnatural, we hear the wa does an excellent job at holding back the laughter when you take a spill (and doesn't charge by the hour, either).

[Via Digital World Tokyo]