When music became mainstream back in the 60s and 70s, the world was in awe of legendary bands like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and so on. Then the early 2000s were dominated by electronically modulated music from bands like Daft Punk.
Today’s music scene looks like it’s going to be taken over by a different kind of band; those of the robotic kind. These quirky robot bands aren’t anywhere near winning music awards, but will surely blow you away with its sheer ingenuity. We’ve pulled together the top buzzing videos of robo-bands in action; brace yourself, this is going to be pulsating ride.
1. The One Love Machine Band
Created by engineer and hobbyist musician, Kolja Kugler, the One Love Machine Band is an autonomous robot band that seems to be focused on the physical appearance of the robots, rather than the quality of the music. The band sports a very practical theme, which has worked in their favor.
Compressorhead is a trio of mechanized robots that creates their own music, and is highly reminiscent of the One Love Machine Band. This is probably because Compressorhead was designed and manufactured by the creators of One Love a well. The bands are so close that there are talks of a cross-country band tour; call it ridiculous, call it fascinating, but you can’t ignore it.
3. Robotic Drum Kit
You see, we are already in the world where robo-bands have to differentiate themselves.
The robotic drum kit is exactly that, an autonomous set of drums that is said to function independently. The drum kit can’t really be labelled as a band, but still manages to churn out a somewhat rhythmic, melodic tune.
4. The Trons
Made in New Zealand, The Trons are a popular garage robot band, whose signature tune is a uniquely light sound that is easy on the nerves. The Trons are one of the older robot music bands, which mean that they’re not the smoothest players. Call them the veterans of the robo-band circuit, if you will.
Originally created as a marketing gimmick to promote a manufacturing company’s beverages, Z-Machines is definitely the badass of robot music bands, with a long standing history with alcohol and obsessive responses. This seemingly simple gimmick has ended up become a robot music phenomenon, using some highly advanced technology to create some truly mesmerizing tunes. The bad is so advanced that it changes its playing style depending on the interaction with its audience.
6. The Rock-afire Explosion
The Rock-afire explosion is another robot music band that originated as a marketing gimmick, only this time for an American Pizza chain. The restaurant, ShowBiz Pizza Place, had created an in-house band during the 80s, made up a number of animatronic robots and other toys.
Sadly, the restaurant chain went out of business in the early1990s, and the animatronics band was sold off. But a recent documentary about the Rock-afire Explosion, have stemmed renewed interest in this once forgotten robot band. Don’t be surprised if these fiery robo-musicians make a comeback.
7.Munch’s Make believe Band
Yet another marketing gimmick gone pro, Munch’s Make Believe Band was the in-house robot music band for the Chuck E. Cheese brand of family restaurants. The band consists of a chef, a dog, a hen, a gory monster, and even Chuck E. Cheese himself. The best part about this band is that it didn’t try too hard to be serious about itself, keeping things on a lighter note by being the evening’s entertainment, unlike a number of other robot bands.
8. Teddy Ruxpin
This one was made purely as a children’s toy. The ’80s-era stuffed toy bear, Teddy Ruxpin, was one of the first pieces of equipment to be fitted with animatronic eyes and moving facial slip that resembled a mouth. Many people lived their entire lives without knowing who Teddy Ruxpin, but it is one of the most iconic toys of its time, brining music to soft toys for the first time. No wonder, there are ‘build your Teddy Ruxpin DIYs’ available for wannabe Dr. RoboMusics out there.
9. Toyota’s Violin-Playing Robot (TFOT)
Last but certainly not the least in this list of musical robots, Toyota’s Violin Paying Robot, TFOR, was recently unveiled playing a violin symphony, and even reaching vibrato. This robot is currently the epitome of musical robot development, and will require decades of more testing to be able to match the control and coordination that is achieved by human dexterity.
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Wearable Robot Transforms Musicians into Three-Armed Drummers
Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have built a wearable robotic limb that allows drummers to play with three arms. The two-foot long “smart arm” can be attached to a musician’s shoulder. It responds to human gestures and the music it hears. When the drummer moves to play the high hat cymbal, for example, the robotic arm maneuvers to play the ride cymbal. When the drummer switches to the snare, the mechanical arm shifts to the tom.
Georgia Tech Professor Gil Weinberg oversees the project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. He says the goal is to push the limits of what humans can do. Via Georgia Tech
20 Amazing Robots Dance To Classical Music
As our technological advancements get more and more incredible, it’s always wonderful to see a video like this, showing off the talent of our robot friends!
From the fictional Star Wars’ C-3PO and R2-D2, to the very real robots of today’s hospitals, there’s just something about robots that we can’t help but love. Via Little Things
Humanoid Robot R5: Valkyrie ‘Dances’ In NASA Music Video
NASA’s latest robotic addition had been created to “perform in extreme environments.” The space agency is investing in robotics for deep space exploration and Valkyrie will compete in their Space Robotics Challenge in 2016. Via SPACE