Hubo II is Korea's Advanced Institute of Science and Technology robot that they are preparing for the next DARPA Challenge. He has been taught to do some basic dance moves, walk, run and other practical tasks like valve turning. And since KAIST is located in Korea, you know that they have taught him Gangnam Style, a more advanced routine than the one executed by Charli 2. By the way, you can get your own Hubo for a cool $400,000.
Last month we told you about Charlie, the robot that was gaga for Gangnam. It seems that he was recently entered in a dance contest in China and the little bot won first place. We guess that they are not as saturated as we are with the dance but we definitely think it's time to move on, dude, at least as far as changing it to Mokiki's Sloppy Swish.
A team from Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology formed Tovbot and developed Shimi, a 12" tall robot that can be connected to an iPhone or Android smartphone and act as DJ. After accessing the music library it can suggest tunes, move to the beat and play music based on feedback. The strange-looking bot doubles as a docking station and can alert users to Facebook or Twitter activity. Look for Shimi's formal launch at the 2013 CES.
The audience at the recent Coachella Music Festival were treated to the likes of the deceased Tupac Shakur. A hologram showed up on stage and performed 'Hail Mary.' The audience then saw a duet of '2 of Amerika'z Most Wanted' with Snoop Dogg. Tupac must've been smiling down...
The University of Penn's GRASP Lab continues to make strides with its quadrotors. Presented at the TED2012 Conference, Vijay Kumar and team demonstrated their swarming ability by playing the James Bond theme song. Moving in unison, the nano quads receive a series of waypoints, this time specific keyboard notes or guitar strings. Each autonomously figures how to attend its task without interfering with the others.
Nothing quite represents the holidays better than this T. Rex's skull that sings "Jingle Bells." RWeaving was inspired by his 4 year old son and made a 3D printing of the dino's head. The music is triggered by a servo motor. Ho ho ho y'all.
We seem to have missed this one last week but better late than never. Toronto, Canada's bd594 came up with a duet of a robot snare drummer and HP scanner rockin' to "The Little Drummer Boy." When creating this ditty, he claimed the project was "70% timing and 30% execution." Check out his YouTube page for other robot band concerts.
Recently the Dance Liberation Front was arrested at Washington D.C.'s Jefferson Memorial after they were protesting a judge's ruling that said that dance was not considered freedom of speech. As a response, the DLF has called for this Saturday in NYC to be "Do the Robot" Day.
Imitate a robot, dress like one or bring one with you to show your support for the troop who is only trying to prove, in their words, "It is an affront to the very core of America's right to free expression. Not only that, we believe that dancing people are happy people and happy people are part of the solution, not part of the problem. We believe in the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. And what is happiness if not dancing?"
While details have yet to be finalized, the DLF is trying to secure permits for the 3:00 p.m. event. Should you want to get in on the action, feel free to stage your own event.
Students from the California Institute of the Arts in CA took some junkyard salvage and regular instruments and built the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra. They are so proud of their work that they recently put on a concert with the robotic instruments onstage and lighting and animation on the ceiling. The team came up with 3 new instruments, including a dual-head drum called the NotomotoN.
Drexel University's Alyssa Batula and Dr. Youngmoo Kim taught a Robonova several tricks, including dancing, tapping a tambourine and playing the piano with only two digits. They used this particular humanoid because it can mimic human gestures and is both rugged and inexpensive. The two disadvantages, they say, is that motions are not precise enough and that processing must happen on an offboard computer, since the bot itself is underpowered. Still, we are impressed.
Take a peek at this eerie performance by HRP-4C at the recent Digital Content Expo in Tokyo. She is getting more natural all the time but someone should have covered up those legs.
The performance is almost a throwback to 60's TV shows like 'Hullabaloo' and 'Shindig,' 2010 style. Play both videos at the same time and tell me they didn't use the same choreography. By the way, the intro on this video is done by a very early George Hamilton and Lanie Kazan for those who keep track of that kind of trivia.
We bet that if robots watched music videos the first one they would watch would be Nicki Minaj and Will.I.Am performing 'Check It Out'. It just doesn't get any more techno than this performance on the Letterman's Late Show. 'Nuff said.
The Opera of the Future Group from the MIT Media Lab plans to present "Death and the Powers" in Monaco Sept. 24 - 26, the result of a 10 year project that features singing robots and a musical chandelier. Composed by Professor Tod Machover, it concerns a future without humans with the robots trying to understand what being alive was. More than 60 students and collaborators are needed to put on the show.
NASA has been testing ATHLETE, an all-terrain robot for use on the Moon and Mars, but recently took a day off in honor of National Dance Day to bust a move. This certainly proves that even hexapods can have rhythm.