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By Nancy Hopkins on

Do the robot dance

For over 500 years, we’ve been harnessing robots for all sorts of purposes.

Robotics in car manufacturing are now the norm, and robotic limbs are propelling us into the future at a rapid rate.

But amidst all of the serious science and amazing engineering, we occasionally overlook one of the key reasons we’ve developed robotics. And that’s the keep us humans entertained.

From old school metal heads to the latest paranoid androids, robots certainly know how to capture our imagination and attention.

Here’s a round up of the top robotic performers rocking our world right now.

EveR 3

Developed by the Korean Institute of Industrial Technology, EveR 3 is the younger sister of EveR1 and EveR2. The EveR name is derived from the combination of the Biblical “Eve” and the r from robot.

In 2009 when she was unveiled, she was the first in her family to be mobile and uses for locomotion.

Much like Paris Hilton, she’s a robotic singer and actress by trade. She reportedly appeared in a Korean play called Robot Princess and the Seven Dwarf in 2010, and she’s also sang at quite a few events.

Here’s a video of her performing in 2009 at the Hannover Fair. I think she needs to work on her dance moves, but she’s a pretty nifty singer. Better than Paris, at any rate.

Robo Thespian

Featuring in our exhibition, the Robo Thespian is the type of robot your mum would want you to settle down with.

Tall, well spoken and with a reliable job, the Robo Thespian has an expressive range of movements and emotions. He can be animated on the fly, or ahead of time.

He’s even starred in his own theatre show, ‘Spillikin’ with Pipeline Theatre.

Sophia

This extremely life-like lady is the creation of Hanson robotics and is quite the media darling.

As well as featuring on the front cover of Elle Magazine, Sophia has graced the sofa of Good Morning Britain, featured in a BBC Earth Asia advert and appeared on the Tonight show with Jimmy Fallon.

Sophia’s a chatty robot whose advanced cognition and the ability to respond to conversations showcases how advanced humanoid robotic research really is. Amazing stuff.

Zoltar

Readers of a certain age will already be familiar with Zoltar, a mechanical fortune telling/ wish granting robot who featured in the 1988 Tom Hanks film, Big.

Whilst not the most gracious display of robotics that has ever lived, Zoltar certainly knows how to entertain. Turning a pre-teen into a grown man that looks like Tom Hanks? Genius!

He’s also a good lesson in why smacking machinery to make it work is not always the best of ideas.

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