Gangnam Style Dance-Off: Humanoid Robot Shows Off Tech Advances, Slick Moves (Video)

By James Geddes , Apr 18, 2013 03:59 PM EDT

In case you didn't know, we just celebrated National Robotics Week and got to see some of the latest advances in robotics at events throughout the U.S. There's a robot named CHARLI (Cognitive Humanoid Autonomous Robot with Learning Intelligence) who stole the show at a festival by showing technology advances while dancing Gangnam Style.

CHARLI is a humanoid robot that was entered in a Los Angeles Korean Festival and was created by students led by Dr. Dennis Hong, founder of the RoMeLa Lab at Virginia Tech. CHARLI was created in 2010 and was the first full-size humanoid: he stands five feet tall and weighs 30 pounds. CHARLI was designed to be the size of humans for a reason.

"If a robot needs to live with us in [sic]environment designed for humans, then I claim the robot needs to have [sic]size and shape of a human," Hong said.

Hong also believes that by the year 2030, humanoids are going to be part of our everyday lives, as strange as it may seem right now.

"2030, for example, you buy something online, and it's not going to be a brown truck delivering your boxes but probably unmanned aerial vehicles that's going to drop this package in front of your door," he said.

CHARLI demonstrates the latest technology advances in robotics in a very different way than his buddies, who handle more dangerous tasks like defusing bombs or flying aircraft. CHARLI has been built to show off his robotic capabilities with the talent of being a soccer expert.

"It's got a couple of sensors. One is a standard USB webcam that's in his head that he uses to look around, find ball on the field, find the lines on the field so he can figure out where it is and locate the goals," said doctoral student Bryce Lee. "Then it figures out how it wants to move in order to kick it to score. It's also got an inertial measurement unit, kind of like your inner ear, a balance sensor that it uses to figure out if it's tilted forward a little bit so it will compensate by tilting itself backwards."

Soccer isn't CHARLI's only talent, even as impressive as that is; the robot can actually dance, even better than some humans. Check out CHARLI rocking out to Gangam Style while showing the world in a fun way the latest advances in robotics.

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