This year marks the 50th Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Plenty of the usual CES fare is on display: easily-portable high-def home projectors, smart bathrooms, and, yes, pole-dancing robots.
If you heard a record-scratch in your brain at the robots, no one could blame you.
These lovely ladies were unveiled Monday in a Las Vegas strip club. They were accompanied by flesh-and-blood strippers, but clearly still the stars of the show, reported CNBC:
The robots were as advertised: They gyrated on a stripper pole to music from 50 Cent and Pharrell, with dollar bills scattered on the stage and the floor.
A half-dozen human dancers, most of whom were dressed in tight, shiny robot costumes, repeatedly took pics in front of their metallic colleagues. (The woman greeting guests as I walked in told me that I missed a skit where the human dancers unveiled the robot dancers to Star Wars music, and then joked about them stealing their jobs.)
Real strippers almost never have CCTV cameras for heads or obvious cables under shiny plastic skin, but a really drunk CES attendee might be excused for mistaking these hotties for the real thing due to their gyrations, high heels, and garters.
They aren't actual tech innovations. The pole-dancing robots have been around for a while, the invention of British artist named Giles Walker. Walker specializes in assembling animatronics from junk, and has mounted other similarly provocative projects like the Homeless Robot and the Last Supper.
His stripper 'bots have even performed for world leaders like Angela Merkel and former UK prime minister David Cameron.
Pole-dancing robots are at the moment merely in the realm of art and don't have their own brains. They're no more intelligent than a lawnmower.
Innovations in robotics, however, have frequently begun with dumb machines. Who knows how long it will be before we see the first android Instagram model?
Oh, never mind. In a way, they're already here.