Robo-dancers' moves aid research

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 05:00 08/11/2012
Daniel Tobin

Caroline King visits Phd student Eduardo Sandoval who has programmed his robots to do the Gangnam Style dance.

Eduardo Sandoval
STACY SQUIRES/Fairfax NZ
STYLE COUNCIL: University of Canterbury PhD student Eduardo Sandoval and the robots get down Gangnam Style.

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Christchurch scientists are making robots dance Gangnam Style.

South Korean pop star Psy's dance moves in Gangnam Style have become a worldwide sensation, with more than 650 million people having watched the music video on YouTube.

People from throughout the world have posted their attempts at the dance online, and the University of Canterbury HIT Lab NZ (Human Interface Technology Laboratory NZ) has done the same, but using humanoid robots.

The video, uploaded yesterday, has already attracted 400 hits.

PhD student Eduardo Sandoval said the aim of the project was to learn more about how robots moved.

"The robots have a lot of physical constraints that we need to know about.

"Creating this dance made me more aware of certain technical problems, such as how to keep the robot in balance," he said.

University researcher Christoph Bartneck said the performance was part of the HIT Lab's research into human-robot interaction.

"I thought, ‘Let's have some fun with this; let's make them dance'. It [Gangnam Style] seemed the most obvious choice at the moment," he said.

"The goal of Eduardo's work was to maintain the spirit of Psy's performance while working within the limitations of robots."

Bartneck said the video had already gone viral in the university.

To watch the video, go to: http://youtube/51vQo-imc4Q.

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- The Press

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