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Pole-dancing robots aim to spice up nerd fest
[LAS VEGAS] They grind and gyrate around a pole, with moves like a real stripper.
But these dancers are robots, brought in to offer a new entertainment twist to the crowds descending on Las Vegas this week for the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show.
The robo-strippers are the creation of British artist Giles Walker, who said he designed the vaguely humanoid machines as an expression about surveillance, power and voyeurism.
No one would confuse the robots with real strippers, with a head made from a jettisoned surveillance camera and the rest from bits of scrap material from mannequins and car parts.
"I wanted to do something sexy with rubbish," Mr Walker told AFP at the Sapphire Gentleman's Club a few blocks off the Vegas Strip at a media event Monday night which was not part of the official CES program.
Artificial intelligence? Don't even think about it. These strippers are powered with recovered windshield wiper motors and the artist's sense of feminine style.
Peter Feinstein, the club's managing director, said he invited Mr Walker and his robots to add variety at a venue which has long hosted attendees to one of the world's largest tech shows.
"This is our 18th year for the club, and we felt we needed to come up with something new and unique," Mr Feinstein said.
"It used to be just nerds. But we wanted something more creative that would appeal to both men and women."
At the club, where human dancers were also performing, the robots got mixed reviews.
"I think it's a good idea," said one male customer who asked not to be identified, but added that he preferred the real thing.
"This is just the first step. They're not there yet."
One of the club's dancer's who gave her name only as Rouge said she was not worried about the competition.
"I think there are a lot of people with weird fetishes so I am sure somebody will get turned on by that. But nobody can beat the beauty of someone, and our talent with our brains, the way we talk, the way we use our bodies," she said.
"We can make people feel better than them."