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Dancing Doll-RZ Puts Classic Automatons to Shame

DancingDollRZ-01smDid you see Biped Robot News Japan‘s footage of the robot dance competition held at IREX 2009?  One of the videos that seemed to catch everyone’s attention featured a fairly large female robot that looked a bit… well, like a renanimated corpse.  This one’s a bit better.  We’ve looked at the relationship between historical automata previously, and how modern robots can be seen as an extension or evolution of them. Back in the heyday of automata some of the most exquisite creations were based on the dolls and marionettes of the time.

Similar to the recent example of the Samurai of Kuroda robot, with the help of robotics a doll can become a kind of stringless-marionette.

DancingDollRZ-02smOne of the most popular doll makers in Japan is Volks, which itself has a robotic connection having once sold a doll based on Tomotaka Takahashi’s NEON robot, and mecha from Five Star Stories.  A quick survey of their site shows dolls listed for hundreds of dollars.  Now a fan has taken the next logical step and created a custom automaton using hobby robot servos and doll parts – no small feat considering the challenge of actuating such slim limbs.

Although they missed the competition at IREX 2009, the creator remarks on the robot doll’s blog that seeing robot kits at IREX 2003 provided the original idea.  Luckily, a video on their website lets us appreciate their choreography, expertly timed to Mozart’s “Turkish March”.


[source: DancingDoll-RZ (JP)]