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Russian railways in robot repairman revue

Dwarf droid dancers in TV debut

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Russia's railway industry has thrown down the gauntlet to the rest of the world, exhibiting a team of dwarvish droids which can sing and dance on tables. Railways chiefs say that the machines will be used for tricky repair work in confined spaces.

The miniature mechanoid mechanics were recently exhibited on Russian TV, and - of course - are now on YouTube, showing off skills perhaps more suited to a West End musical than delving about the innards of the Trans-Siberian express:

For now, unsurprisingly, the droid dwarf dance troupe will be assigned to duty at presentations by railway execs rather than getting their hands dirty down at the marshalling yard.

This is just the start, though. AFP reports that transport bosses issued a statement on Thursday, saying that Russian droids "surpass foreign-produced robots with their technical characteristics", and that there is a plan to "build special robot models that can replace humans in particularly difficult work for railways".

Apparently the gizmoid greasemonkeys will be just the ticket for inspecting difficult-to-reach parts of trains, and so on.

It's nice to see someone taking "all-singing, all-dancing technology" literally at last, anyway.

The AFP report is here. ®

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