Electronic Music Dance Culture

Box Full of Influence v.1

Robot Invasion

Posted by Code Red on August 30, 2011 | 0 Comments

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RobotI will admit, I am not a digger. I wish that I had the time to scour the interwebs for music, videos, gifs and the like. But sometimes, I do get on a kick and this week, I had robot on the brain. I have a rather large affinity for robots and I know, I am not alone on this.

In fact, Robots have been a cross cultural part of pop culture, film, history, art, dance, science, technology and so much more for a very long time. Early robots can be traced way back to the 1st century AD. Even in the world of Ancient mythologies, stories include descriptions of mechanical servants, and bronze characters, such as Talos, who guarded the Cretian island of Europa from pirates. Sure they aren't the kind of robots you think of today, and they were only in stories, but non the less, these are some our earliest forms of science fiction literature. Even before electronics were added to the mix, mechanical robot tools were being developed earlier than many of us typically think.

So why my rant? Its indisputable that the concept of robot has a major influence in the dance world of popping and funk style dances, and even liquid and digitz. Our bodies are mechanical objects, and when we look externally to find influences in how we can achieve unique and creative movements, its no wonder we turn to the incredible, not so edible, robot.

I decided it would be neat to show you a couple cool robot videos I found. Some are funny, some more scientific, and some just plain silly, but each one can provide a bit of inspiration. And that's what I hope to give you today. As you watch these videos, try to look at it from a dancer perspective. How, as a human, can you isolate as these robots are. And what does their character, teach you about yourself and the character you are when you dance?

Toward the bottom I have also included our human peers, to show you what can be accomplished and the effects of inanimate objects, in this case robots, has on the performing arts.

Johnny 5 Robot Music Video: Low Rider

If any of you are around my age, you know who Johnny 5 is. This video is a model robot, designed after Johnny 5. He isn't highly complex, but provides great isolation movements to explore.

Nao Robot

Credit goes to Relic for finding this gem. It's a long vid showing the many features of this highly complex, intelligent robot. Pay attention to how he gets up from the ground, leans and moves around. So much concurrent isolating going on.

New version amazing robot asimo

You may or may have not heard of Asimo. Asimo or Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, was created by Honda back in 2000. It has a bit of a chimp gate to it. That or someone rushing to find a loo!

Robbie the Dancing Robot

I stumbled on this one not too long ago. I love old vintage robot toys. The video is cute, and of course relates to urban dance, so what’s not to like?

Robbie even has his very own facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001838611709&sk=wall

Ice Robot Comes To Life - By J.A.M.I.E.

What happens when you get an ice sculpting artist and implant a vision of producing a working robot in his mind? See below! The project apparently is a larger series done by Ballentine’s Human API Project. The fact that this project was sponsored by a whiskey/scotch company makes me even happier.

Self-Replicating Repairing Robots

If you dont get some kind of idea out of this video, reboot and try again. I wish my fingers were made up of these. If I ever lost my fingers in an accident, I would contact these guys for new fingers.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence


And Now: Humans

Robert Shields and Yarnell in a Drama

Two masters at their craft. Robert Shields is a well respected mime from California. He received training from mime great, Marcel Marceau, and was one of the earliest mime street performers in San Francisco. Shields teamed up with, eventually marrying, Yarnell, a tap dancer and actress. Together they put together various shows and performances.

Robert Shields has an amazing ability to isolate and become a character. In the 3:30 minute mark he discusses the differences between a human being a robot, and a robot being a human.

Another one showing Shields and Yarnell doing robot.

Robert shields is still creating today. You can check out his work at http://www.robertshields.com/

Madd Chadd master of mechanical movement

I have had the opportunity to see Madd Chadd dance in person. As skilled, precise and meticulous as he looks on video, it is considerably that much better live. Some of the best Robot in the business.

Hip Hop Legend Mr. Wiggles in France!

How can I not drop one of the most well known OGs on here! My favorite part is around 1:10 where he just kills it with some super clunky robot.

Poppin John

I remember when I first heard of Poppin John when an earlier video came out in February 2010 or so.

Here is a newer clip showing some bad ass, high def robot coupled with some beatboxing. Very creative!


Ok, I am not sure exactly how I feel about the song, but I kinda like it! The dance sequence at the end is a little weak, but its not what i am critiquing here. Its just a fun look at the use of robot in pop culture. In this case, an alcoholic, late night partying, robot with an attitude problem!

Human Robot

I’ll admit, some of this performance is a little hoaky, maybe because it has a bit of a kids feel to it. BUT, something diabolical exists in this performance. Check out the 4:00 minute mark. WTF. Look at the audience, they have no idea what to make of it. Talk about stunning your crowd!

Staircase Robots in Stockholm

Slim Boogie, Mr. Steen, Future & Rashaad in Stockholm, Sweden. Oh and there are some stairs too. Man, just watch these dudes make there way down the steps. So much fun to watch.

Josh.0 aka Josh “Ace” Ventura

Yes, it is Tosh.0’s doppelganger. I haven't known about Ace for very long. But between him and Madd Chadd, they are forces to be reckoned with when it comes to robot styles. Its all about being meticulous, and Ace does a fine job at it.

I also stumbled accross a pretty cool interview of Ace by Liquid Metal. Check it out!



One of the best scenes in this movie. 

Robot Boys (Nick Nitro and Jeppe Long) In the future!!!

Some great work by Nitro Boys, Nick Nitro and Jeppe Long.


Got some cool vids to share? Post some cool robot influenced vids in the comments section and add to the archive!

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