Posted by: robotnews | April 6, 2007

The MS DanceR

The Dance Partner Robot, MS DanceR (Mobile Smart Dance Robot) was founded by Kazuhiro Kosuge and ZhiDong Wang at the Tohuku University of Japan, Department of Bioengineering and Robotics. As the name implies, this robot is specialized in ballroom dancing. The dance partner robot (female) has been installed with an omni-directional base in order to enable it to carry out basic dance steps. The MS DanceR has been recognized as one of the 100 Best Inventions of 2005.

With human-robot interaction as the base foundation of this concoction, MS DanceR uses the Body Force Sensor (force/torque sensor) to realize the human force and “react” accordingly. The ballroom dancing robotic system has been chosen as an application to research on by the Tohuku University due to the complexities involved in the implementation and the various considerations that have to be taken into account. This research has generated new dimensions to the field of human-robot interaction.

The robot plays the role of the female dancer. Normally, in ballroom dancing the lead would be the male and the female counterpart would have to react to each step appropriately. Hence, the robot senses the steps through physical interaction with the human, anticipates and estimates the step and generates the corresponding output step.

The control systems consist of the Omni-directional base, Body Force Sensor, Body Frame, Controller and Batteries. The Omni directional base allows multidirectional orientation of the robot. The Body Force Sensors are situated in various places in the robot such that it can detect pressure applied to its arms and back so that it can constantly anticipate it’s human partner’s next step. It is also equipped with memory that contains five basic steps required to dance the Waltz.

Rajalakshmi Raghavan (U036804N)
http://www.ieee-icit.info/figs/12.pdf
http://www.ieee-ras.org/news/robots.php?news=archive#16

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Responses

  1. I think this is very good invention, now you can learn how to dance with MS DanceR any time any place if you want, and she will not be angry if you keep on making mistakes, …haha

    by U037121E Liu Pengyin

  2. Ya i think this is a very interesting robot, especially for people like me, who is too shy to learn it from a instructor

    by U036419B Jway Kim Soon

  3. wow, the female dancer is even more diffiuclt to model than the male, since the robot has to take cues fro mthe male lead.

  4. I agree that this robot actually solve the problem for people that is shy to learn dancing from an instructor. haha.

    Besides that, this female dancing robot is really amazing when it has to react to each step of the male dancer. This surely needs lots of different sensors to achive the goal. A wrong information gain will ruin all the subsequence steps.

    I am wondering that why don’t they start by building a male dancer.

    Yong See Wei U048661X

  5. I guess they choose to build a female robot because it is more challenging. Once they can build a female dancer, it will be simpler to build a male robot. As the male leads, the robot just needs to have the pre-programmed steps stored in its memory. But a better male robot will also slow down when it senses that its partner is not able to keep up. And i personally feel that female robots will be more sellable than male robot dancers.

    Su Shiyan
    U036793W

  6. MS DanceR might be a great invention for starters who want to just learn the basics..but even then, this being an artform and a form of expression, i still think it should be learnt from another living breathing human. 🙂
    After all, there are only a certain few steps that can be programmed into the robot dancer.
    That apart, this invention is really unique, one of a kind!

  7. Dear Pengyin,

    You have an awesome point there.heheeh.. But perhaps one day scientists might find ways to map even human emotions !

    Rajalakshmi

  8. Dear See Wei,

    The purpose of this robot is not just to build a dancing robot. The bigger purpose is to discover new ideas and concepts on the topic of human-robot interaction. With the male robot, there are not so many issues as there are with the female who would have to interact with the human according to his action on “her”

  9. From the picture it appears that the robot has wheels to propel its movement. it would be a nice idea to actuate the motion using ankle, knee and thigh joints to get more realistic dance motion. Moreover, that could be used to do more dances like ballet, etc.
    -Nitin Batra
    U048708Y

  10. I think it is one of the most interesting robots here! I also want to buy one, hehe.

    But again I have a doubt that, how this robot is going to detect the movement of the human being? Which types of sensors are using here? Thermal sensors or motions sensors? Because it will be complicated to differeniate the action from dances with different heights and movement by different parts of body.

    Yang Kai U036508R

  11. I agreed to the previous comment claiming that this robot is not only a dancing machine, but also trying to achieve new ideas on robot-man interaction. Despite the sensors, the diffucult part of building such robots will be telling it what to do or interact with the human in diffrenet circumstances.

    Khoo Yuan Jin
    U036997M

  12. haha, it seems the MS DanceR is the most charming post in the blog. it’s a really good invention, and the explanation is also really good, that we can understand the technology used very well.

    by U037157M Yi Jinzhou

  13. Dear nitin,

    It would indeed be preferable for the robot to have knees and legs just like a human. However that would not be feasible and very useful in a robot that just dances ballroom (perhaps for bollywood it needs to have sevaral parts).

    Besides, the purpose of this robot was to gain insight into human robot interaction. I suppose, therefore they did not give too much importance to improvising the technical details.

    Rajalakshmi Raghavan(u036804N)

  14. Dear Yangkai,

    The sensors used are mostly pressure sensors that detect pressure.

    Certain combination of pressure applied to certain places must be probably mapped to one step. I suppose this is how it works.

    However, you are right that several other factors affect the reaction and response of the partner. Hence, this project gave the researchers new dimensions to this human robot interaction domain!

    Rajalakshmi Raghavan (u036804N)

  15. This invention is great for men who want to learn ball room dancing but are too embarassed to ask someone for help !! 🙂 Since the robot reacts to the male’s moves… the male can see reaction each step would cause and hence learn.

    Vignesh Ramachandran
    U037024R


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