Michael Jackson introduces "The Robot"
In 1974, during a performance on "Soul Train," Jackson introduced a dance called the robot, made of moves that were mimicked on dance floors across the country.
The robot (or mannequin) is an illusionary dance style - often confused with popping - that attempts to imitate a dancing robot or mannequin. It was originated by Charles Washington, also known as "Charles Robot" in the late 1960s.
As with popping in general, the visual impact of the robot can be boosted by doing it in pace with music. The best effect is achieved with music that has very distinct beats such as electrofunk. It is nonetheless common to use music not particularly suited for the dance, but which has a "robot theme", such as The Jackson 5's "Dancing Machine" and Styx's "Mr. Roboto".