A robot on show at a Russian state-sponsored event has turned out to be a man dressed in a costume.
Robot Boris featured on Russian TV and was apparently able to walk, talk and dance.
But soon after its appearance journalists began to question the bot’s authenticity.
In a picture published afterwards on social media, the neck of a person was clearly visible.
The robot is in fact a 250,000 rouble (£2,975) costume called Alyosha the Robot, made by a company called Show Robots.
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While the organisers of the Proyektoria technology forum – which was aimed at youngsters – had not claimed the robot was real, the TV coverage on Russia-24 suggested it was.
Russian website TJournal raised concerns about the robot asking a series of questions:
- why did the robot feature no sensors?
- how did Russian scientists get the robot made so quickly, with no papers published about it beforehand?
- why there has been no internet coverage of such an advanced robot?
- why did robot make so many unnecessary movements during its dance?
- why did it look like a man would fit perfectly inside it?
- why offer a pre-recording of its voice rather than do it live?
On the website of the firm behind the Alyosha robot costume the product is described as being able to create “an almost complete illusion that you have a real robot”.