Russian media say an innovation presented by state television as a high-tech robot was, in fact, a man in a commercially available robot costume.
Footage from a high-tech forum in the city of Yaroslavl this week featured “Boris the Robot”, who organisers used to enliven the event, having him dance to a pop song.
But a crew for Russian state television Russia 24 apparently thought Boris was real. They used footage of him dancing and speaking as an example of Russian technological prowess.
TJournal noted the lack of sensors, human-like movements and other discrepancies, and revealed that Boris was actually a human clad in a costume sold under the name Alyosha by Russian company Show Robots.
It also appeared to have made huge leaps in advancement on robots developed elsewhere in the world.
🤣😂 это прям огонь. Я понять одного не могу. Они не скрывают что это ростовая кукла робот, или действительно пытаются выдать чудака в костюме за робота? pic.twitter.com/pJ1kFTDnXp
— Павел Эскобаров (@soskoter) December 11, 2018
Robots made by US company Boston Dynamics – often touted as the leading company in the industry – move like humans but have taken years to develop even simple abilities.
Perhaps most tellingly of all, the robot suit looked perfectly made to allow a man to fit inside it.
Real robots tend to have slim limbs, but Boris’s body was well-proportioned, allowing a person’s arms and legs to fit inside.
When pictures emerged showing Boris from slightly different angles, the neck of the person inside was clearly visible.
According to local reports, the organisers of the event never claimed the android was anything other than a man in a suit.