Dancing robot gets all the attention at IIT-B Techfest

Techfest — the annual technological event of Indian Institute of Technology's (IIT), Bombay on Thursday unveiled several exhibits for gadget buffs. However, the highlight of day one was the 'Gangnam' robots.

The robot has been designed by Aldebran robotics, a French company that is into building state-of-the-art social and service robots. The company has managed to bring in 'Nao Robot', a humanoid bot all the way from France. These robots perform dance moves to the worldwide music hit 'Gangnam' Style, by South Korean rapper Psy.

"These robots win your hearts instantly with their looks. And while you'll still be in much awe looking at these bots, it will show you its 'Gangnam style' dance. On day one, over 12,000 people thronged just to take a glimpse of the Nao Robot. I think the popularity of the Gangnam style was something which managed to attract a large crowd to this stall," said Shrey Singh, Media manager, Techfest 2013. However, if you plan to buy this robot, you will have to shell Rs 15 lakh.

Another attraction at IIT-B on Thursday was the SONIN based HIRO robot. HIRO is also a very popular robot created by Hasegawa Lab Tokyo, because it can make educated guesses based on past experiences, which means it can learn, react and think just like a human being. The robot was programmed using an unsupervised learning mechanisiam created by the researchers called Self-Organising Incremental Neural Network that processes information in a dynamic way making it easy for the robot to think up future patterns. The creator of HIRO, Osamu Hasegawa, is also among the list of prominent personalities who will address the people on robots at Techfest.

Another popular exhibit was AirBurr, a robot designed specifically to study the physical interaction between flying robots and their environment. A team of PhD students, Adrien Briod and an engineer, Przemyslaw Kornatowski from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne college in Switzerland, have developed a multi-sensor, light-weight robot capable of flying in clustered environment. "The robot weighs just about 350gm and does not need to avoid obstacles, and its design ensures there is little scope for damage. The robot can stand upright on its flexible legs," Broid said.

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