Brian Molidor Brian Molidor is Editor at Social News Watch. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

These Japanese robots move around on balls and dance to J-pop

44 sec read

Murata Boy rides a bicycle. Murata Girl rides a unicycle. But the Murata Cheerleaders, the latest iteration of androids from Japan’s Murata Manufacturing, are another proposition entirely, an army of small robots that balance on metal balls, dancing and flashing lights in unison. The Cheerleaders use gyroscopic sensors with inverted-pendulum control to stay upright which, Murata’s Koichi Yoshikawa assures us is a significant challenge in itself.

It’s probably the most Japanese thing I’ve seen in my first year of covering the country for Engadget: Robo-cheerleaders, barreling around in sync like some sort of Japanese girl ‘idol’ group. In total, there’s ten Cheerleader bots (with two standby units), with light-up cheeks, pom-pom arms that look like PlayStation peripherals and glowing eyes — They glow, they lift their arms, they form ensemble shapes and are arguably the most adorable Weeble-esque robots you’ve ever laid eyes on. Following the bicycling Murata Boy and the unicycling Murata Girl, here’s the Murata Cheerleader and her nine sisters. They’re about to dance in formation, all while balancing on a ball. Not only because they simply can, but also because this is how their parent company showcases its (often mind-numbing, let’s admit it) sensors and components to both businesses and Joe Public alike.

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Brian Molidor Brian Molidor is Editor at Social News Watch. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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