If you’re a fan of Make:, chances are good that you’re also a fan of robots. You also probably enjoy at least some forms of music. I showcased several robot bands in my first robo-band post, but here are several more robot bands that didn’t get into the first article. However, the feedback on my first post was so overwhelming that we decided to bring you even more rockin’ robot bands. Although some are quite “experimental,” others sound like they’re on their way to competing with, or possibly complementing, their human counterparts.
Trippy Robotic Orchestra Performance
In one of the creepier sounding robot bands I’ve seen so far, Sebastian Bradt’s band looks as strange as it sounds. The variety of instruments seen in this “robotic orchestra” performance in Ghent, Belgium is quite amazing.
Troy Rogers and the Robo Rickshaw
Troy Rogers is a composer of robotic music who uses a rickshaw to transport his equipment around when appropriate. To check out more songs, visit his website, and follow his portable “robot rickshaw” via Twitter.
This interesting drum setup is able to play along with human performers without a set program in the software. The computer selects a performer to listen to, then plays along. In this video, human music starts around 1:35, and the robotic drums appears to join in around 2:00.
Human Controlled Robot Orchestra
While the last drummer-robot was pretty much given free reign to improvise as it saw fit, this human-machine orchestra is kept on a little tighter of a leash. Musicians play their instruments, but the robotic elements are controlled by humans. The musical results are quite good, with a distinct Indian influence.
The Mech Bass
You may wonder what this machine is doing in the video, since there is recorded music playing along with it. Upon observation, you’ll see that each of the four rails holds a bass guitar string which is held down by a solenoid on a linear slide in order to hit the appropriate note. A stepper motor rotates in to pluck the string in a rotary fashion. Quite clever!
[via Rick Winscot]
According to DubSpot, this robot uses “MIDI sequences [to] control 117 robotic striking mechanisms that produce intricately woven and rhythmic sound.” It certainly has a unique sound, and looks quite good as well!
Bonus Robot Band: Captured! by Robots
Per Chris Harper’s feedback in response to our last robot band post, this human-machine band is known as “Captured! by Robots.” It kind of makes me think of what would happen if a mechanical band from an amusement park or restaurant for children rebelled and started touring on their own. In this scenario, possibly the human element would have been kidnapped by them from said establishment to serve as their front man.