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Robonova Plays the Piano

February 17, 2013

The Music Entertainment Lab (MET-lab) at Drexel University has posted a neat little video of a small hobby humanoid playing an electronic keyboard.  This is pretty trivial when the robot is in a fixed position relative to the keyboard.  But this robot is able to adjust automatically when the keyboard is moved.

That’s a neat trick.  What’s especially encouraging about this, for us hobbyists, is that this robot is a Hitec Robonova — one of the first generation of hobby humanoids, over five years old.  It is, quite frankly, not a very advanced robot by today’s standards.  Yet people are still coming up with cool new hacks and applications for it, like this one.

We’ve posted before about robot gymnasts, dancers, and musicians, but the musicians described here in the past were six ton hydraulically-powered steel behemoths.  This little Robonova isn’t exactly rocking out yet, but as a proof of concept, it clearly shows that you don’t need piles of money and a strong floor to get started building your own robot band.  And that’s important, because not everyone gets excited about robot wrestling or boxing.

 

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