Top 10 Robot Street Dancers

We’ve put together our top 10 robot street dancers, with links to videos of their best moves.

1. Street machine: The dancing forklift truck.

2. Robot ballet: Honda’s ASIMO shows off its street dance moves.

3. Toyota’s dancing robot is top of the pops.

4. Dancin’ machines: Industrial robots show their moves at the 2013 Fraunhofer IPA ball.

5. Robot rock: iCub dances along with a band of human musicians in this video from the iCub Facility in Italy.

6. Robot rock: Watch iCub jive along to another tune in this video from the iCub Facility in Italy.

7. Dance dance evolution: Watch as a robot evolves its dance routine using genetic algorithms in this video from the University of Texas at Austin’s Evolutionary Computation Laboratory.

8. Two left feet? Check out this two-legged dancing biped robot called QRIO (Quest for cuRIOsity) developed by Sony back in 2003.

9. Dancing biped: Another two-legged dancing biped robot, this time from a team at South Korea’s Seoul National University as part of a project sponsored by Samsung Heavy Industries and the Ministry of Knowledge Economy,

We are proud to present the Top 10 Robot Street Dancers. These robots are not only great at street dancing, they also have the best moves in pop-locking, robot walking and robot rocking.

In alphabetical order:

Ape Dance

Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (see video)

Crazy Frog Brothers (see video)

Dancing Bush in George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address (see video)

Dancing Bush in The Simpsons (see video)

Pepper Robot at Tokyo University (see video)

Robot Rock by Daft Punk (see video)

Robot Stomping by Michael Jackson (not sure if this is a robot, see video)

Salsa Robots by Alexey Krasavin (see video)

Tron Guy Dancing Tron Guy Dancing

Top 10 Robot Street Dancers

01. The Terminator

The Terminator was the first robot street dancer, created in 1984. He could fit in at any hip hop club today and probably would be able to pull off some of the most difficult moves we’ve seen robots perform.

02. Robocop

You can’t mention The Terminator without also giving credit to his more famous descendant, Robocop. It took a few years for Robocop to get into the street dance scene, but he became an instant hit with his unique style and ability to bust some moves while wearing a suit of armor.

03. Johnny 5

Johnny 5’s dancing style is very different from either The Terminator or Robocop. Where they are hard and mechanical, Johnny 5 is very fluid and smooth, exhibiting a style that is more similar to breakdancing than to robot hip hop.

04. Number Five

Number Five is another robot that has a similar dancing style to Johnny 5. He doesn’t get nearly as much attention though, because he is a minor character in the movie Short Circuit 2 and didn’t appear in the original Short Circuit movie with Johnny 5.

05. WALL-E

WALL-E, who starred

1. Robot Street Dance

Robot street dance is a kind of dance that you put on the street and then the robot dances. It is a form of street art that involves building, programming, and manipulating robots to perform dance moves.

The earliest example of this was in 2002 by a group of researchers at the MIT Media Lab called “The Robotic Life Group” who created a robot called Kismet which could interpret emotions from body language.

Kismet was programmed to respond with an emotion when it detected another person’s facial expressions of happiness or sadness. This led to some interesting interactions between humans and robots.

A more recent example is the work of artist Christian Ristow who has created several dancing robots including one called “Baxter” that have been used in performances around the world including at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio California (USA).

Some other examples include:

Dancing Robots by Alexander Reben (2012)

Robot Dance Party (2012) by Kristin Lucas and Greg Hermann

Robot Dance Battle (2013) by Daniel Shiffman

Robot Dance Off (2013) by Ian Baldwin

Robot Dance Crew (2014) by Mike Winkelmann aka Beeple

Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze’s live-action adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, opens in theaters this weekend. It has already been getting great reviews, and it’s not too much to say that a lot of the praise is for its visual effects. The film features not just one but two different types of creatures: the large wild things that serve as the movie’s main characters, and the tiny monsters that populate Max’s imagination.

The wild things are all played by actors in suits (some of them even have real-life facial expressions). The monsters are CG creations. You’d never know they weren’t real until you saw them up close, or watched them do something impossible. And it turns out one of the most impressive things about these imaginary creatures is their ability to dance.

Computer-generated animation was once limited to making things move stiffly and mechanically. But advances in technology have made it possible to give CG creations a much wider range of motion. In the case of Where the Wild Things Are, those advances allowed animators to create some truly impressive moves – including a robot street dance that looks like it came straight out of a music video.

10. Astro Boy

9. C3PO

8. Short Circuit’s Johnny 5

7. Wall-E

6. RoboCop

5. The Terminator

4. Transformers’ Optimus Prime

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