We've seen robots play music before, but Drexel University's HUBO bots take things to an entirely different level. That's because these robots haven't actually been programmed to play Come Together — at least not specifically.
According to members of the University's Music and Entertainment Technology lab (MET-lab), these bots have been designed to play music by following an actual musical score:
The HUBOs are operating autonomously (not human-controlled). Their movements are directed by student-developed software to perform the gestures necessary to produce the appropriate notes and beats as dictated by a musical score. Every sound in the video was performed by the robots.
MET-lab student Matthew Prockup created the musical arrangement for drum kit and three "Hubophones", novel percussion instruments designed and constructed by the lab for this performance.
The whole ensemble is impressive, and sounds really great — especially when you realize that the Hubophones were designed out of PVC; but we were particularly impressed by authentic Beatles sound coming from the robot on Ringo's mini-kit... are we sure that's not just a human in a HUBO-suit? [Drexel Engineering via Engadget]