Robot pole dancers to debut at French nightclub

Robots and artificial intelligence has long been touted as a replacement for humans carrying out jobs around the world.

However, robots are rarely thought of as pole dancers in nightclubs – but that is exactly what is happening in Nantes.

Two robot dancers, wearing high heels and topped with a CCTV camera for a head, will debut at the SC-Club in the French city to celebrate its fifth anniversary next week.

The bots were the brainchild of British artist Giles Walker, who has overlaid their metal bodies with parts from plastic mannequins.

Referring to their CCTV camera heads, he said the robots aimed to “play with the notion of voyeurism”, posing the question of “who has the power between the voyeur and the observed person”.

He came up with the concept a decade ago, and has toured and loaned out the robots over the past few years.

Despite the rise of robot work forces, club owner Laurent Roue said the new members of staff will not replace the 10 human dancers who currently perform there, instead saying it was a way of honouring the technology.

The robots are mounted with CCTV cameras
The robots are mounted with CCTV cameras

He said: “For us, it’s a wink, a homage in a way to robotics.

“We need something human, warmth, physical contact, and this is really putting together opposites.”

He added: “To each his own.”

A dancer at the club known as Lexi agreed that the future is human at the venue, saying: “They won’t really change our sector. They won’t replace us.

“We’re not in a vulgar job. It’s an artistic job. It’s something that’s beautiful, and robots won’t change that.”

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