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Some awesome musical robots

by Emma Dunn

Ahh machines… they’re awesome, aren’t they? They do practically everything for us: they cook our food; they entertain us; and they do most of the work for us at the office.

However, if James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger are to be believed, it’s only a matter of time before the robots we invented will turn on us and we will all die a horrible, horrible, death.

But before the harsh realities of Skynet set in, we might as well have fun with them while they’re on our side, right?

On that note (pardon the pun) we’re going to take you on a tour of some pretty cool musical robots. From ‘Rock Lobster’ to ‘The Imperial March’ to… a creepy jelly tube thing… there’s something for everyone in this list!

So sit back, relax and let these robots serenade you into a semi-conscious slump. You won’t even notice when they take over the world.

The Bit-52′s – Rock Lobster

First up we have this pretty sweet rendition of the 70s hit Rock Lobster played by a few spare robot parts. Who knew that old electronic scraps could be so tuneful?!

Floppy music duo – The Imperial March

Just when you thought floppy disk drives no longer served any useful purpose… It turns out they make pretty cool musical instruments!

Take this for example – a pretty much pitch perfect rendition of Star Wars Favourite: The Imperial March.

The mechanical quality of the sound gives the tune a proper sinister feel that would be a great theme for the Death Star. Lucas, are you watching? I think you just found your soundtrack to the (inevitable) Star Wars remakes:

Yamaha ‘Vocaloid’ robot

Let’s take a detour into the creepy uncanny valley for a second and have a look at this beautiful singing robot demonstrating the Vocaloid software developed in Japan.

The lifelike features and facial movements of the robot only add to its creepiness – and that’s before it’s even opened its mechanical mouth. Shudder.

Also, is it just me or are these kinds of robots ALWAYS based on women? Does it get lonely in the robotics lab, guys?

Robot mouth – Kagome Kagome

Although if you thought that was strange, just wait until you’ve seen this robotic mouth built by Japanese professor Hideyuki Sawada.

The synthetic tube creates sound in a similar way the human vocal system does – different sounds are created by manipulating air flow through the changing shape of the tube.

Sounds good in theory, just a shame it looks a bit creepy. I’m probably going to sleep with the lights on tonight after seeing this…

SilkPerformer ‘plays’ a Google Doodle

Okay, enough weird stuff. Let’s finish on something that sounds pretty good and won’t actually give us nightmares.

Microfocus, who specialise in application modernization technologies, programmed their software SilkPerformer to play the Les Paul’s guitar, which was featured on Google a couple of months back.

By creating three virtual users, they were able to create a ‘band’ made completely from the Google Doodles.

Think you can do better? You can have a play with Les Paul’s guitar here.

Can’t get enough cool robots? Head on over to our bundlr page, where we have collated some prime examples of robotic goodness for your viewing pleasure.

Have you found any awesome musical robots? Tell us about them in the comments section below!

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