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Mechanized Culture?

Surabaya University Student Create Robots that Perform Balinese Dance

(6/9/2014) Three students from the University of Surabaya in East Java might be suspected of having ambitions to putting hundreds of traditional dancers in Bali out of work.

The three young men, all students in the electrical technical faculty, have designed small robots able to be programmed to perform traditional Balinese dances.

The State News Agency Antara reports that the dancing robots have already mastered the Anoman and Legong Keraton dance.

One of the students, Okky Andriansyah, said: “The two dancing robots have been given the name of ‘Niniteus’ - inspired by ‘nini’ a word used to summon an adult female in Bali; ‘teus’ from the ‘Teknik Electro’ faculty at the University of Surabaya." 

Together with fellow designers, Hamdi Fawazal and Bagus Olifianto, Okky claims Niniteus can be programmed to do any dance.

After programming the robots to do the Anoman and Legong Keraton dances, the student outfitted their inventions in traditional Balinese costumes and implanted voice activation that reacts to the accompanying music.

Niniteus can perform a number of movements. It can look to the right or left; move forward or in reverse; and crouch down – all done in response to specific sounds.

The robots perform a maximum dance routine of four minutes before pausing for a battery recharge.

The dancing Niniteus robots recently won honors at a national robotics contest.