Wednesday, 20 November, 2019


Russia's High-Tech Robot Is Just a Man in a Suit

Not a robot Not a robot
Bennie Garza | 14 December, 2018, 15:10

Video footage of "Boris the robot" at the Proektoriya youth tech forum for school pupils has done the rounds on the internet but independent journalists spotted that something was amiss with the supposedly "artificial intelligence".

The android - known as Boris - had been lauded on the state-owned broadcaster Russia-24 as a technological breakthrough with the ability to walk, talk and dance.

A robot hailed in Russian Federation as the latest in cutting-edge technology has been unmasked - as a man in a suit.

However, many viewers were left unconvinced by the robot, with the Russian website TJournal posing a series of questions about the robot's performance, including the location of his external sensors and why he made so many "unnecessary movements" while dancing.

Most pointedly, TJournal also questioned why Boris appeared to be the ideal size for a human to fit inside.

The forum itself say that they hadn't claimed that the Boris was anything other than a man in a very expensive costume, the BBC reports.

A photograph published by MBKh Media-an agency founded by prominent opponent of President Vladimir Putin opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky-seemed to show the actor in the robot suit, his human head and hands clearly visible as someone helped tune up the costume.

And The Guardian reported the actual costume is called "Alyosha the Robot" and comes equipped with a microphone and tablet display.

"It's entirely possible one of these [students] could dedicate himself to robotics", one anchor said.

Boris, called "the country's most modern robot" by the channel, also held a conversation with conference hosts, telling the audience "I know mathematics well but I also want to learn to draw".

Footage of the robot reportedly disappeared briefly from Russia-24's YouTube channel on Wednesday morning but it came back again a short while later.

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