Model Robot Takes to the Catwalk in Japan

The fashion world has a new face to envy. At five-foot-two, she may not measure up to her competition on the runway, but then she works for free and never complains about her diet, because she doesn't have one. She's a robot.

Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) demonstrated the new humanoid recently at a show during Tokyo's Fashion Week. The HRP-4C robot strutted her stuff alongside the world's most famous models, wearing a skintight silver and black outfit designed by her creators (which she actually wears all the time) that carries a price tag of US $2 million, according to a report from Reuters.

Her human counterparts have nothing to fear, though, from the upstart in their midst, as HRP-4C just doesn't have the elegant moves that they have down pat just yet. In fact, she's downright clumsy by comparison (see video).

"Our robot can't move elegantly like the real models that are here today," Shuji Kajita, director of humanoid robot engineering at AIST, told Reuters. "It'll take another 20 to 30 years of research to make that happen."

Even so, she's got a nice smile and an outgoing personality, enough so to charm an audience of cynical fashionistas. And that's real progress.


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