The Russian Robot Known as 'Boris' Has Been Revealed to Be a Human in a $3,800 Costume

Thursday, 13 December 2018 - 12:56PM
Technology
Robotics
Thursday, 13 December 2018 - 12:56PM
The Russian Robot Known as 'Boris' Has Been Revealed to Be a Human in a $3,800 Costume
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YouTube – Россия 24
No one goes into a Daft Punk concert thinking the two guys in helmets are actual robots, but the same can't be said of Boris, the "hi-tech" robot that debuted at Russia's annual Proyektoria event for science-minded Russian schoolchildren. Though the organization behind the event claims they weren't trying to deceive anybody, at least one Russian news outlet presented the dancing robot as a real piece of tech. In reality, "Boris" was a man in an elaborate $3,800-dollar costume created by the costume maker Show Robots and sold as "Alyosha the Robot."

You can see a video from the event below, in which Boris shows off his limited (but distinctly human-like) dance moves (skip ahead to 2:33):



Most of the confusion (or deception) seems to come from the Russian TV station Russia-24, which seemed to present Boris as a real robot, even going as far as telling viewers "Robot Boris has already learned to dance and he's not that bad."

However, Boris' true nature was uncovered pretty quickly, with at least one photo showing the actor's neck beneath the robot costume...



...and one showing the actor being helped into the costume itself.



One of the biggest tells, however, was Boris' movements when on stage. Like the infamous Patterson-Gimlin film showing a guy in a Bigfoot outfit striding along a creek, people were able to recognize that the movements didn't fit the costume. Apart from that, many outlets questioned how such an advanced robot had been developed without any prior news about it, considering its extremely flexible locomotion. Even Boston Dynamic's Atlas, which can do flips and parkour now, is still pretty obviously a robot when it moves.

Well, now that we've gotten to the bottom of this Boris mystery, it's time to start working on what exactly that Russian mech walker thing is, and whether that's real.
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