"I'm here to see the robot strippers?"
That was me, Monday night, walking into a Las Vegas strip club in hopes of finding one of the more bizarre forms of entertainment near the Strip: A pair of pole-dancing robots I'd read about in an International Business Times article earlier that day.
The robots were an obvious gimmick during one of Las Vegas's busiest weeks of the year — the 50th Consumer Electronics Show, a massive annual tech trade show full of geeky gadgets and gizmos, from touchscreens to cars to fancy electric trashcans. The Sapphire Gentleman's Club, a strip club right off Vegas's main drag, paid to showcase the robots as a way to drum up interest from press and customers.
As a first-time CES attendee, the gimmick worked on me: What could be more CES than pole-dancing robots?
The robots were as advertised: They gyrated on a stripper pole to music from 50 Cent and Pharrell, with dollar bills scattered on the stage and the floor. A half-dozen human dancers, most of whom were dressed in tight, shiny robot costumes, repeatedly took pics in front of their metallic colleagues. (The woman greeting guests as I walked in told me that I missed a skit where the human dancers unveiled the robot dancers to Star Wars music, and then joked about them stealing their jobs.)
The robots look nothing like actual humans, thank God. They had CCTV security cameras for faces, and you could see their metal interiors and wires as they moved up and down the pole. (They were, however, wearing high heels.)