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Monday, May 24, 2010

Sergey Brin's Robot Pals to Line Dance in 'Graduation' Ceremony

Posted By on Mon, May 24, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Battlestar Galactica fans might want to take note: The Age of Robot comes a step closer this week, as a squad of line-dancing, Sergey Brin-befriending robots from the design shop Willow Garage will "graduate" in a ceremony in Menlo Park.

Renee Blodgett, a spokesperson for the company, tells us in an e-mail that "this is the first graduation party for robots in history" and that "top innovators in robotics are flying in from around the world." The Willow Garage firm specializes in "personal robotics applications in everyday life," and some of its creations will apparently be performing a line-dance to celebrate this Wednesday. (Because, let's face it, line-dancing is what everyday life is all about.)

Sound far-fetched? Check out the above video, which features Google co-founder Sergey Brin addressing a group of tech luminaries via a Willow Garage Texai robot, what the company calls a "remote presence platform." (Yes, it's weird.) Then check out comedian Robin Williams shooting the shit with another Texai droid in public. Who knew robots and celebrities were so simpatico?

A slightly more imposing piece of hardware is the PR2, which bears an eerie resemblance to Johnny No. 5 in Short Circuit. Better that than a Cylon centurion. Happy commencement, robots.

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Peter Jamison


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