Robots have been singing for a minute. But the HRP-4C doesn't just sing, she performs. Watch her chirp the lyrics to her song, work the crowd, and shake her stuff in sync with her back up dancers. It's pretty amazing.
Even by human standards, her dancing is not too bad. Her singing is actually quite good (if you played someone this and a Ke$ha song and asked which one was sung by a robot, etc). And aside from her strangely large hands and armored robot legs, she does an amazingly convincing job of looking like a real person while she's performing. Her singing's in sync with the song, her dancing's in sync with her singing, and, especially with the rhythmic accompaniment of her four backup dancers, the whole thing is just enjoyable to watch—not as a robot performing a catchy little pop song but simply as a catchy little pop song being performed. And that's pretty damn wild.
The divabot, as she's being called, is being developed at Japan's Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. She uses special software to precisely mimic a human singer's head movements and facial features and synthesizes notes with Yamaha's Vocaloid software. Masataka Goto, head of the Institute's interactive media group, hopes that someday the robots will be used by the entertainment industry. From the looks of things, that's not too far off. [YouTube, PopSci]