Beethoven's Fifth. Michelangelo's Pietà. Plato's Republic. Cornerstones of human civilization, to be sure, but they all pale in comparison to what we saw today at CES
: TOSY's new mRobo robot, inspired by none other than the Cultural Colossus of our time, Justin Bieber. The Vietnamese manufacturer and pubescent Prince have just taken the wraps off their latest collaboration: a petite, portable speaker-robot that dances -- nay, transcends
-- just like his only slightly larger
counterpart. When in speaker mode, the mRobo weighs in at just 3.3 pounds, stands a little under eight inches tall, and boasts 2GB of internal memory. Its integrated speaker pumps out the jams at bass levels of 40Hz, but the real magic happens once the music starts playing, automatically prompting the system to transform into an 18-inch tall robot and start dancing. Unfortunately, the bot is still in prototype mode, but it's expected to retail for about $200 when it launches during the fall of 2012.
Today, though, we were lucky enough to get a sneak peak of the mRobo, courtesy of a mic'd-up Messiah with sweepy bangs and a leather jacket. Upon taking the stage to roars of applause and Jelly Bean sunshowers, Bieber went on to do a brief demo of the bot, displaying its ability to sync its dance moves to whatever tunes blare out of its abdomen speaker -- in this case, Billie Jean
. The mRobo looked admittedly clumsy at times, and was especially awkward when onstage with the teen phenom, but, as TOSY repeatedly reminded us, it's still in prototype phase. (Bieber, for his part, did a good job of looking completely awestruck throughout much of the experience.) Before descending from his bubblegum pulpit, Bieber reminded his acolytes to "follow your dreams." Ours, at least, have just been realized. Follow yours past the break, straight to our hands-on video.Mat Smith contracted Bieber Fever from this report.