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Einstein Busts A Groove

Einstein Busts A Groove

By Hannah Isom

If I were Albert Einstein - the man who gave the world the theory of relativity, and was arguably one of the most important minds of the 20th century - I would be a bit cheesed off to learn that I had been immortalised as a 4’ 5” Korean robot that practises tai chi.

But that’s exactly what Professor Jun Ho-Oh from South Korea’s Institute of Advanced Technology unveiled at last week’s Campus Party technology fair in Valencia. The fancy new robot, affectionately named ‘Albert Hubo’ can walk, talk, smile, and even has a creepy plastic head and wispy white hair, resembling the famous scientist.

Hubo has also managed to master some tasks that the real Einstein, for all his wisdom, never achieved, such as somewhat disjointed ‘hip-hop dancing’ and a little tai chi. And when the motorised look-a-like opens its mouth to speak, what profound phrase does it utter? “Hi. My name is Albert Hubo. I come from South Korea and I am very happy to be in Valencia”. Hmm…hardly Nobel prize worthy (not to mention historically inaccurate).

The revolutionary technology that allows the robot to bust such moves involves 66 motors, located mostly in the head.

Robot Albert is based on a Windows XP platform, which allows him to have artificial intelligence. Creator Jun hopes that, one day, every household will have a robotic Albert to help out with the dusting and other such daily tasks. Quite how the iconic genius would feel about donning a pinny and doing the washing up in homes around the globe will never be known.

Other scientific marvels gracing the Campus fair included ‘VitruSphere’: a sort of 1990s-esque virtual reality helmet that allows users to flail around immersed in virtual walk-through scenarios, or “infinite space”. There was also a new game called ‘Mindball’, which is a bit like ping-pong without the racquets. Players instead use purely the power of brainwaves to move a ball across a table. Apparently the trick to this one is to maintain a state of total relaxation, which anyone who has ever played table tennis will confirm is nigh-on impossible.

For more bizarre science from Hannah, visit her page.

Or there's more odd-bots where that one came from...
- Mad - Waterproof cyber builders
- Gadgets - Toy bots
- Interesting - Becoming inhuman
- No way - The electronic nose

Image courtesy of South Korea's Institute of Advanced Technology.

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29 Jun 2009
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