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Rocking robots! From Compressorhead to Z Machines

z machinesNew Scientist‘s Celeste Biever rounds up the robot music scene, prompted by the arrival of the latest android combo, Z Machines. Apparently, they are powered by Android, but details are scarce.

Celeste writes:

Music may seem the last of human activities that robots would encroach on, but this band, Z-Machines (pictured right), are only the latest proof of the considerable musical skills of robots.

The robotic trio features Mach on guitar, Ashura on percussion and Cosmo on keyboard. They had their first gig in Tokyo, Japan, yesterday, with a guest appearance from human pop duo Amoyamo. Ayamo, one of the humans, praised Z-Machines’ flawless performance – just what you’d expect from robots, she said.

Their creator Yoichiro Kawaguchi dreams of sending his android protégés to other planets to perform. Here on Earth, though, robots already have a rich musical history – both for the sake of entertainment and for exploring the boundaries between humans and machines.

The completely robotic Compressor Head reveals that robots can do heavy metal as well as Japanese pop, while jazzy marimba-playing Shimon can improvise along with a human pianist. The idea is to explore how robots and humans can be coaxed into interacting more fluidly.

Robots have even learned to sing. Eduardo Miranda of the University of Plymouth, UK, created warbling robots that converge on a shared tune to explore the potential for robots to evolve culture. It’s beginning to look like Kraftwerk’s 1978 album The Man-Machine really was the shape of things to come.

Read the full article »

And any excuse to play the Robot Band “Compressorhead” again, gloriously forging Mortorhead’s Ace of Spades from their non-human synapses…

Take it away!

Tags: Compressorhead, music, robot, shape of things, Z Machines

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