A robot that debuted at a Russian robotics forum for teens on Tuesday wasn't filled with the machinery and software typical of its humanoid brethren, but rather the flesh and blood of a man.
Russian state news agency Russia-24 reported live from the event, praising the robot named "Boris" as a "high-tech" and "modern" innovation as it danced on stage and answered questions from an interviewer. But Boris was concealing his true identity. After other journalists in the audience expressed some skepticism, it was revealed that Boris was no robot, but merely a man wearing a robot costume.
According to , organizers for the Putin Youth Forum in the city of Yaroslavl were aware of Boris' hidden identity, but state news reporters didn't think viewers at home would realize the deception, or didn't realize it themselves. It's unclear if Russia-24 was privy to the young man hiding behind the robotic armor, but nonetheless, the station presented Boris as genuine.
After all, what good is transparency when this "dancing robot" could be a national treasure?
“It’s entirely possible one of these [students] could dedicate himself to robotics,” an anchor reported, . “Especially as at the forum they have the opportunity to look at the most modern robots.”
But as writers started questioning the integrity of Boris' design, evidence of his fraud starting cropping up on social media.
Spot Boris' human neckline here:
In reality, Boris was really "Alyosha the Robot," a costume designed by a company called Show Robots that retails for around $3,700. The young man wearing the suit could surely compete for awards at any costume contest, so long as the judges don't confuse him for a robot.