Russian robot thought to be real turns out to be man in suit
Russian state TV is defending itself after it gave viewers the impression earlier this week that a robot shown in a broadcast from at a state-sponsored event was real, when it was actually just a man in a robot costume.
Russia-24 ran a video on Tuesday showing the robot, called “Boris the Robot,” at a youth tech forum.
As the footage played, several translations say a correspondent said the hope was some of the youth who attended the event would go on to work in robotics because they “had the chance to see the most modern robots.”
The video shows the robot dancing with on-stage presenters as those in the audience participated.
After the footage was broadcast, people on social media and from the website Online TJournal questioned the robot’s authenticity, including why the robot featured no sensors and how it was made so quickly.
Some also questioned why in one photo, showing the robot speaking with students, what appeared to be about two inches of a human neck and some hair could be seen on the robot.
At the forum itself, BBC News reports the organizers had not claimed the robot was real but the state TV station had suggested it was.
Two days after the broadcast, state TV addressed the issue and the correspondent, Arseniy Kondratev, said he knew the robot was not real.
WATCH: Russian state TV reports on robot which turns out to be man in costume
“I was absolutely sure everyone would realize it was a costume, like Santa Claus, that this was a project created for children,” he said.
Since Tuesday, it has been revealed the suit was actually a costume made by Show Robots and is actually known as Alyosha.
Show Robot’s site describes the costume as an “almost complete illusion that you have a real robot.”
—With files from The Associated Press