Russian state television covered a robotic forum this week. Throughout the forum – aimed at getting young people into robotics – it looks great, the part that caught my eye on Russia 24 is a strange human-like robot named Boris. Boris was shown on stage using dance moves with co-hosts to be realistic that your dad would proudly use them in marriage. Russia 24 told its viewers that the robot “has already learned to dance and he is not too bad,” the Guardian reported.
Boris, also known as the channel’s “most modern robot in the country,” had a conversation with the conference host, telling viewers “I know math well but I also want to learn to draw”.The robot was later shown interviewing in a host studio of the show again using surprisingly realistic movements. It should be a wonderful breakthrough in robotics and a huge leap into the unusual valley if this robot reports in Russia 24. Even it looks a lot like people of exactly the same size. Before you buy yourself a bunker and join the robot-fight resistance, it turns out that Boris is not a robot at all. This is basically the plot of the Simpsons episode.
The Russian website T-Journal investigated the video after it became suspicious. “How did Russian scientists get the robot finished so quickly without revealing any intermediate results?” They asked, and why is it shaped like a robot suit with a guy inside it instead of a shaped machine?
In an episode where Homer only dresses up like a robot to impress Bert by fighting robots in Robot Wars, there is a direct tribute to Boris, who looks like he’s a man in a robot suit because he’s a man in a robot suit. Pictures tweeted from the conference showed very clearly that the robot has a human neck, which is nothing like the classic “wire and metal bits” that you would normally see inside a robot.
T-Journal discovered that the man was wearing an Alyosha robot suit made by a company called Show Robots. Realistically though, these are less likely to happen when you remove the robot’s head. The BBC reports, the forum itself said they did not claim that Boris was anything more than a man in very expensive clothes. It is still unclear why Russia 24 portrayed the “robot” as real, as they have not yet issued a statement.