Three robots have been taught to dance to music, but only punk.

The pogo-dancing machines have been right at the front of the sweating, heaving crowds for a 3-day festival at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts.

But they will only party to punk.

The machines were created by a collaboration of artists and scientists, and standing 2m tall, padded and dressed in leather.

Professor McOwan, from Queen Mary University, and one of the creators of the robots, explains that the robots came about because of his interest in human-computer interaction.

"I'm a computational neuroscientist and my interest is in trying to build mathematical and computational models for the way the brain processes sensory information, such as visual or auditory information."

"I work out how human beings do that, build a computer model to test how it works and then hopefully, if it works well, you understand more about humans but also you have software for use in robotic systems."

"The idea is to look at the information processing strategies that have taken billions of years to develop through evolution, steal them and put them into computers."

And in this case, the robots' "brains" have been trained to react to certain types of music and react to them.

McOwan explains: "The robot brain, for want of a better word, was played lots of punk, reggae, disco and classical and over a period of time the robot has learned to recognise and appreciate the patterns of sound in punk music".

From these patterns, the robot creates an image of audio patterns, then reacts to the level of "punk" in the song.

The more punk it believes the song is, the more it pogos in a "happy and frenzied way", said McOwan.