Institute for Personal Robots in Education Blog

Japanese robot dances "spontaneously"

In the news items today is a story about a robot that dances:

Japanese robot dances "spontaneously" ( - A new Japanese robot twists and rolls to iPod tunes in an intricate dance based on complex mathematics. Technology developers convince that one day robots will move spontaneously instead of following preprogrammed motions. Equipped with Kenwood Corp. speaker systems, Tokyo-based venture ZMP Inc.'s 35-centimeter (14-inch) long Miuro robot - which looks like a white ball wedged between two halves ... [Yahoo Robot News]

The article goes on to say:

At a demonstration in Tokyo on Thursday, the 5-kilogram (11-pound) Miuro pivoted about on a stage in time to beats of a pop music track. Its dance wasn't preprogrammed, but generated by the robot itself.

Scientists involved in the robot's development believe the technology could one day lead to robots capable of spontaneous motion. Miuro uses algorithms, or mathematical rules, to analyze music and translate the beats into dances, according to ZMP President Hisashi Taniguchi.

What does the article mean that "its dance wasn't preprogrammed, but generated by the robot itself." Is that hard, or easy?

In Myro, the programming interface that we are developing for use in Introductory CS courses, that might look like this:

from myro import *
for seconds in timer(60):
    action = pickOne(3)
    if action == 0:
        if flipCoin():
            turnRight(1, randomNumber())
            turnLeft(1, randomNumber())
    elif action == 1:
        backward(1, randomNumber())
    elif action == 2:
        forward(1, randomNumber())

This little bit of code will have the robot "dance" for 60 seconds. It will do one of three things: turn, backup, or go forwards. And the robot generated the movements itself!

Do you think that this is what the article had in mind? What more might a robot do that was more in line with what the researchers were thinking?


Thu, 2007-06-07 01:35
mianlee (not verified)

Our programming teacher taught us about some programming language on robots. I think I should refer this article to him. It can help us a lot.

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