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Guitarists, your Days are Numbered

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the funk-machines dept.

Robotics 590

spackbace writes "Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a mechanical guitar playing robot, named the Crazy J. The guitar player is composed of two mechanical systems that interact to play a range of 29 musical notes. A plucking mechanism with six independently controlled picks is mounted over the body of the guitar and a fingering mechanism with an array of 23 fingertips is mounted over the first four frets of the fingerboard."

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Days are numbered? (4, Insightful)

BlueOtto (519047) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010603)

The art form will never die... how long have MIDI keyboards been around?

Re:Days are numbered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010622)

Whoa! Somebody got the fucking joke! Holy shit!

Re:Days are numbered? (0)

mrog (895851) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010696)

I think I saw this guy outside the liquor store.

Re:Days are numbered? (1)

Craig_P92669 (875776) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010813)

No, that was Eddie Van Halen.

Re:Days are numbered? (2, Funny)

0b501373 (893388) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010704)

I cant wait to see this thing live!!
Does it come with a self flaming option??

Re:Days are numbered? (3, Funny)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010708)

Machines always sound better than humans anyway.

I just love it when a midi player plays a piece of music note for note directly as it was written as sheet music with no interpretation because we all know that a whole note should always be played as 2 half notes.

Re:Days are numbered? (2, Interesting)

pwnage (856708) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010753)

Bah. Guitars are dead. The next generation will all be listening to percussive strings played on the Chapman Stick (http://www.stick.com./ [www.stick.com] (OK, of course I'm posting hyperbole but check it out...it's quite a cool instrument).

*Yawn* (5, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010604)

While not modern enough for a full-on web site, you can see a museum of such in Germany [sibmas.org]
The pneumatic piano with the drum holding four violins, in particular, was interesting, if only from a mechanical engineering perspective.
At any rate, when your gadget can move Mt. Fuji [slashdot.org] , you shall have accomplished something.

Re: move Mt Fuji (0)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010764)

That was really funny.

Not so fast! (1)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010605)

How about guitarists implanted with CrazyJ technology, and once again play like there is no tomorrow?

Re:Not so fast! (1)

Soporific (595477) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010691)

Well any guitarist implanted with this would sound like shit in my opinion. Those songs really sounded bad and I'm not critiquing the production. As someone else stated it sounds more like a piano than a guitar. It's an interesting machine and a cool idea though.

~S

I for one... (5, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010606)

I, for one, welcome our new guitar playing overlords.

Oh wait.. wasn't that Jimmy Hendrix?

Re:I for one... (3, Funny)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010721)

Oh wait.. wasn't that Jimmy Hendrix?

No, his brother Jimi.

Re:I for one... (1)

Hungus (585181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010724)

No you are thinking of BB King

hmmm? (4, Informative)

sstation (865252) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010607)

http://www.capturedbyrobots.com/ [capturedbyrobots.com]

Re:hmmm? (mod parent UP) (1)

kjamez (10960) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010699)

mod parent up ... any reference to captured by robots deserves all of +1 insightful, +1 funny, and +1 informative ...

had the pleasure of seeing him and his robotic couterparts here in east tennessee many times, and is always a pleasure. and with 36 comments on this thread, i thought *I* was the origional one with the thought to come in an provide the link. it's well worth the $3 admission to the dives they play ...

Re:hmmm? (mod parent UP) (1)

hobbesx (259250) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010820)

any reference to captured by robots deserves all of +1 insightful, +1 funny, and +1 informative ...


Whoa.... just checking some of the sample audio now. Don't forget +72 heavy.

Re:hmmm? (mod parent UP!) (1)

friek (247138) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010766)

The horn section JBOT recently introduced almost destroyed my ears. Poor JBOT - I, for one, would not like to have to sing before crappy drunk crowds with my own intestines in hand!

- he who will never gain any positive mod points.

29 only (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010608)

29 notes.. Don't retire just yet.

Re:29 only (1)

MrByte420 (554317) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010661)

29 notes.. Don't retire just yet.

Thats amazing sinces there's only 12 notes! ;-)

Your vocabulary word for today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010701)

is 'octave'.

Congratulations, you've won (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010786)

the "don't have a clue, but still tried to correct someone" award for today. Go to your nearest piano keyboard and count the white and black keys in your precious 'octave.'

Re:Congratulations, you've won (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010802)

fuck off assnugget. There is more than one octave on a guitar.

Re:29 only (1)

RealityMogul (663835) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010807)

That's 26 more than any "musician" featured on TRL can play.

The Crazy J (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010609)

Nicknamed the Crazy J

Yeah, but will it fit in the bong?

Can it sing? (4, Funny)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010612)

Unless it can give mouth to mouth resuscitation to a bottle of tequila, smell bad, and grow long hair, country music is still safe. Go Willie Nelson!

Re:Can it sing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010804)

Willie Nelson can sing?

A guitar playing Robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010613)

Yes,but how 'about teaching him something useful... Like Counter Strike!

Wow (1)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010617)

This kind of bothers me, while it excites me. I play guitar, well, I try to. With something like this, I could at least program the music into it and even write some of my own stuff. I may not be able to play it myself, but my Tech skills will be able to help my nonmusic skills!

Re:Wow (1)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010750)

the first thing i noticed is it can't do tremolos. the things just push down on the frets. big deal. but a machine can never impart emotion into the notes. think things like palm muting, slides, bends, etc. (okay, i'm not the most technically knowledgable player.) I can play the notes to stairway to heaven. i'm not jimmy page. what makes master of puppets so powerful? is it the notes or hetfield/hammet?

I hope my wife doesn't see this... (4, Funny)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010618)

a fingering mechanism with an array of 23 fingertips is mounted

there's just no way I can compete with that!

quick! post a dupe or something so she doesn't see it! =)

Re:I hope my wife doesn't see this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010677)

'Nooo! Don't post THIS article twice!'

not everything is better with a machine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010620)

My wife has a battery powered "massager" but she still prefers me...

Re:not everything is better with a machine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010790)

Yeah, the "massager" doesn't pay the bills.

Hmmm, I was expecting more... (1)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010625)

I was imaging a robotic Stevie Ray Vaughn, with a wide-brimmed hat and a goatee...

Re:Hmmm, I was expecting more... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010706)

And a massive cocaine habit...

Numbered? (1)

axonal (732578) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010627)

By that? The thing can't even do divebombs, pitchbends, or slides. All it can do is chords, not to mention it sounds a lot more like a piano when a machine is plucking it.

Re:Numbered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010660)

Um, I have a feeling the "days are numbered" remark WAS A FUCKING JOKE!

Re:Numbered? (1)

spauldo (118058) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010740)

The only divebombing I'm aware of requires a tremelo - quite a rare object on an acoustic like the one shown here. Actually, with an electric guitar divebombing would be very easy mechanically - just put a solenoid on the whammy bar.

The piano sound is probably easy to fix with a modification of the plucking mechanism. Slides would be a bit harder (have to worry about the slide getting in the way of the "fingers" - tricky logic there in the software, I'd imagine), but pitch bends and temelo (the fingered kind) shouldn't be too difficult to arrange.

Re:Numbered? (1)

facelessnumber (613859) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010755)

I was thinking it sounds more like a harpsichord myself. It sounds way too mechanical. I never would have believed those sounds came from a real guitar, despite the fact that they did. And I've been fooled many times by drum machines or elecronic organs/pianos, etc.

Having said that though... That is one hell of a bitchin' harpsichord.

Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010628)

can it play Classical Gas?

Just like (5, Insightful)

Approaching.sanity (889047) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010629)

How player pianos killed piano players.

It's not only about the music (5, Insightful)

Parham (892904) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010631)

The music is only part of the fun. Watching the musician entertain is the rest. Interaction between the crowd and the musician is what is good about live music. I mean if I wanted to watch a robot play music, I'd turn on Winamp [winamp.com] with a plugin [winamp.com] and go crazy with that.

smells like hackaday... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010633)

An interesting project, but as far as the music goes it still cant shred thru a wicked solo, perform bends and slides, crunching palm mutes or a wide range of other techniques that make the guitar so versitle.

Men's days are numbered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010634)

...a fingering mechanism with an array of 23 fingertips...

Men are officially obsolete.

where did they get the fingertips from? (5, Funny)

hobotron (891379) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010641)


I suppose they ordered 23 cups of Wendy's Chili?

6+23 = 29 "fingers"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010642)

My Banjo-playing cousin-slash-brother Cleetus only has 12!

Is it "perfect"? (4, Insightful)

Ghoser777 (113623) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010646)

Have you ever listened to synthesized music and cringed a little because it was too perfect? I always have that feeling with synthesized trumpets, french horns, etc. I like the variation that "imperfect" humans add to the music. If the robot is always perfectly in time and can't improvise, it won't be replacing good guitarists anytime soon.

Re:Is it "perfect"? (1)

oneiron (716313) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010673)

The headline was a joke.

I'm sorry. It had to be said.

Re:Is it "perfect"? (1)

wing03 (654457) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010719)

If the robot is always perfectly in time and can't improvise, it won't be replacing good guitarists anytime soon.

Totally agreed.

Did anyone notice the pluck sounds pretty much the same?

I have a guitar and know a few things but not enough to call myself an expert. The thing I find is that depending on how your hand or fingers attack the string, the sound is different.

From the downloads, I don't get the impression that Crazy J has got it right.....

Where were you 20 years ago? (2, Funny)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010777)

I like the variation that "imperfect" humans add to the music.

I wish *you* had been my band teacher in 7th grade. :)

No, no, no! (4, Funny)

rocjoe71 (545053) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010650)

...Fer fucks sake, just don't teach it goddamn "Stairway to Heaven"... anyone who's spent 10 minutes in a any guitar store on a busy street knows what I'm talking about.

Re:No, no, no! (5, Funny)

Mr.Progressive (812475) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010666)

No Stairway! Denied!

Re:No, no, no! (5, Informative)

rogue555 (671448) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010759)

I've taken the class. Yes, yes it does. It plays any MIDI file with a guitar part to it. It also plays "Layla" and flight of the bumblebee. What is really amazing is that it was put together in a quarter by three students.

Re:No, no, no! (1)

ditto999999999999999 (546129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010763)

Weird, I haven't heard Stairway in a guitar shop for probably 10 years. I think the real reason why it's not so common anymore is not because of the taboo, but because lots of guitar players suck these days. ;)

When I was younger I would polish the shit out of lick just for the guitar shop (Yngwie's Trilogy Suite op. 5 was my favorite). I haven't bought a new guitar in 3 or 4 years, so it has been a while since I've played in a store.

Ditto

still no (5, Insightful)

michaelbuddy (751237) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010652)

Wouldn't it be more useful to create robots that perform automation on things that humans don't actually like doing. Why are they even creating this when there are tons of jobs, like trimming the overgrowth in my backyard for example, that I would love a robot / computer to do for me, so i could spend time practicing the guitar on my own.

And In other news, still no cure for cancer.

Re:still no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010703)

you are quite mistaken. there is no universal cure for cancer. however, there are specific cures for cancer.

Specific cures (1)

friek (247138) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010801)

Perhaps this could be the cure for coldplay!

Re:still no (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010752)

And In other news, still no cure for cancer.

I am not sure how the guys with the guitar robot have any relation to the lack of cancer cures... of course here I am, reading /. instead of working on our microarray expression database like I am supposed to be doing, so I guess you have a point...

suddenly reminded of a song by rush (2, Insightful)

rev_g33k_101 (886348) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010653)

THE SPIRIT OF RADIO

"All this machinery
Making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted
It's really just a question
Of your honesty"

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/r/rush/120011.html [lyricsfreak.com]

We've had mechanical piano players for a century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010654)

...but that hasn't meant the end of human pianists

Can it play linuxsuite?? (1)

Roger Houston (843335) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010656)

Or Stairway?

Uhm...yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010658)

Wow, it sounds so life-like. Not like a robot playing a guitar. Sorry, but it's pretty hard to program emotion into a robot.

Or at least until we learn how to do that.

it also has 6 dildos mounted to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010662)

so it can handle all the groupie sluts.

Re:it also has 6 dildos mounted to it (1)

0b501373 (893388) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010770)

Plus the bong/joint holder and the occasional "your stole my riff" remark.

WTF (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010665)

Is it anti musicians day on Slashdot?

First all they do is rehash the old crap and now we're replacing them with robots? Next they'll find a cheaper way to replace admins and you'll all be out of a job!

Nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010668)

Just another technological elitist thing. You can't do everything with computers, just so you know.

Eric Clapton it ain't (1)

bobalu (1921) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010671)

nothing to see here folks, move along....

This will be news when (1)

cecil36 (104730) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010674)

Georgia Tech takes Crazy J to Athens (Georgia, not Greece) and watches it get wizzed on by Uga VI. Now that would be a darn good dawg.

Re:This will be news when (1)

Hungus (585181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010819)

For those who don'tknow Uga VI [onlineathens.com] is the current live mascot of the University of Georgia (Georgia Techs kinda cross state rivals) I am just glad GT doesn't have a live mascot .. what is the lifespan of a Yellowjacket [greensmiths.com] anyways?

No robot will EVER be able to play guitar (2, Funny)

A.T. Hun (192737) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010680)

. . . as poorly as I do.

fear not..... (4, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010681)

Never underestimate the human ear and its ability to pick (pun intended) the poser. I've heard of the obsolescence by technology of so many things musical that never really got there.

One I fondly remember was a report on the CBS Evening News, granted, it was a long time ago, but the point is valid today... They played a video clip of an orchestra playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and asked, "What's wrong with this picture?". I remember thinking, aside from the really crappy quality of sound, hard to say. Their punchline? The music was from a synthesizer, NOT the orchestra (yawn).

This experience (for me at least) is not unique. I had to toss my "white noise" generator I used to help sleep at night... over a period of time my ears picked up the "random" pattern and it actually became an irritant, not a mask of other ambient noise.

I also own a Yamaha high-end keyboard (full 88 key, acceleration keys, 128 voice polyphonic), and it's main piano "voice" was digitally sampled from a Steinway. It sounds wonderful, but I could pick the Yamaha out of a bunch of real pianos from a mile away. The pitch was always too perfect, the decay was always to predictable, etc.

Have you ever listened to a musical recording and found the laid down "generated rhythm" track so perfect it was annoying? I have.

Technology can do some interesting things in music, none of them human. If technology is used create an instrument played by a human, that's one thing... Technology to play an instrument is quite another, and in my opinion will never approach the real thing. If you've listened a lot to classical, it's pretty easy to pick out Stern, or Perlman as the violinist on the same piece. Likewise it's pretty easy to recognize Vladimir on piano.

More chords than your average pop band (1)

IntricateEnigma (148093) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010683)

Wow, with 29 notes I bet it can play a few more chords than the 3 or 4 chords most of the bands out there only know.

Late to the game (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010688)

This guy [capturedbyrobots.com] is way ahead of them. He's had a guitar-playing robot in his band for years.

Re:Late to the game (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010781)

And didn't Chuck E. Cheese have a guitar player in their animatronic band for years?

Who knows, maybe some of those Disney presidents play some mean licks together after everyone (including the Disney Abductees) have gone home for the night...

Similar.. (1)

mpeg4codec (581587) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010689)

Not quite as versatile, but making up for that with geek factor is:

Ukulele Mindstorms Robot [middlebury.edu]

It only plays reggae since reggae usually uses only a few, simple chords, but it is still way cool. They even made it remote controllable. And of course, all the source is on their site.

I'm not scared. (5, Insightful)

SocialEngineer (673690) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010690)

The technology isn't there to match the dynamics in picking techniques and subtle stylistic interpretations.

For instance, some swing-beat pieces (in jazz band music, not just guitar music) require a little more sluggishness in the eights, to really capture the groove.

As well, there aren't effective improv algorithms yet for these mechanical beasts :)

Oh sure, its possible to program future machines to match interpretations to exact specifications, but the nuances required to program that are unfathomable when it comes to instruments such as guitars - There are so many dynamic elements to it that it just isn't feasible. Besides, people like watching guitarists as much as they like listening to them.. Thats part of why people prefer live shows to CDs - Nothing is like watching the emotive expressions of a guitar duo while they shred in harmony, knees on the ground, eyes at the sky.

Guitar: A month or so to learn, a lifetime to master.

Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010693)

This may be even more of a threat to my career than the animatronic musicians at Chuck E. Cheese.

Umm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010697)

That's not ghey at all.

Didn't You Go To Expo 88 in Brisbane, Australia? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010702)

The Japanese pavillion had a guitar playing robot there, played more notes than the example you've given, and had a huge selection of songs to play.

This news is almost two decades old, and this is supposed to be a technology forum. *embaressed to be here*

I bet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010715)

That since it's a robot, it can only play POWER CHORDS!!!

HAR DEE HAR HAR!!!

Fretting noises (1)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010717)



Part of the guitar "experience" is the subtleties of human fingering like noises of sliding up and down the strings etc.

Re:Fretting noises (1)

mbrewthx (693182) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010743)

That's exactly why the Robotic breast examiner won't catch on.

Yeah, but can it do this kind of stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13010722)

Conlon Nancarrow created rather crazy player piano compositions which sounded like several fighting performers at once. Have a listen - Study No. 3a for Player Piano http://www.wfmu.org/listen.ram?show=2690&starttime =00:27:39 [wfmu.org] The sound clips for the CrazyJ weren't too bad, but I don't think it's up to doing Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption" or Leo Kottke or Manitas de Plata.... Oh well...

Remember Vacuum Tubes? (1)

bbzzdd (769894) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010727)

Any guitarist worth their salt prefers a good ole tube amp over solid state. You really think they're going to let robot come to the party?

Impressive but... (1)

ajaf (672235) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010733)

.. no bends, hammers, pull-off, vibrate?
and no "feeling"

if you play the same music with your midi player, it'll sound exactly the same

it's a nice robot, but maybe a waste of time?

Only 1/2 a guitar player really (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010735)

They'll have to attach some kind of face to the device to finish it off, otherwise there's no way of giving good face to that Hendrix riff.

I don't think so (1)

AtariKee (455870) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010746)

There's a certain feel to every guitarist worth their salt. Every player has a certain way that they "attack" the instrument, and the way a person presses on the strings, bends notes, cranks on the neck, picks the notes, hammers and pulls off of strings, slides up and down the neck, etc.- all of these affect the feel of the playing. I don't think a robot would EVER be able to synthesize such feel. Take Stevie Ray Vaughn, for instance. I was fortunate to see him play when he was still alive. See him play three notes of a solo, look up, and then let out a yowl of attack before plunging into the rest of the solo, sent chills down my spine. I don't think Threepeo with a strat could EVER have that effect.

Perhaps the "typical" pop music listener, into such parts of the song as the vocals and the beat, might not care about such things (and believe me, I'm not trying to pass any judgement on musical tastes here), and it might be in this area that a geetar-pickin' robot might work well. But to someone who can listen to a song and grasp the feel of each part of it, there is no substitute for the real thing.

Disclaimer: if I sound like some kind of elitist musical snob, it is not my intention at all. Sorry.

what we guitar geeks would like to know is... (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010760)

does it run Linux?

Indian Guitarists? (5, Funny)

skingers6894 (816110) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010774)

This reminds me of the "programmer's days are numbered" stories - turns out they just got outsourced to India...

Reminds me of an old fashioned player piano (1)

wing03 (654457) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010780)

All the notes are played with the same emphasis.

Layla and First Noel by Crazy J especially since I've heard them played live by musiciain friends who actually make them sound good.

PLAYER PIANOS AND CRAZY J PLAY JUST LIKE ME WRITING MY POST IN ALL CAPS. DULL AND MONOTONOUS.

Sure, it's nifty (1)

sinsofthedove (898187) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010787)

But aside from the coolness value of the project, what's the purpose of a guitar played by a machine? A boring flat robotic "musician" has no role to play in live concert-type music, orchestras are union-controlled a lot of the time, and as someone mentioned above we already have midi keyboards. As far as I can see, the only arena that this particular gadget will be useful in will be creating clean "previews", or samples like the one on the website, until a real guitarist can be found to add some soul.

29 Musical Notes! (2, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010792)

Thats 26 more than our greatest punk bands ... the human race is doomed!

Slashdotting aside... (1)

going_the_2Rpi_way (818355) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010794)

I wonder how long till the RIAA (or equivalent) sends that site a 'cease and desist' letter?

Already been done... (1)

Kevin Burtch (13372) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010798)


http://www.animusic.com/ [animusic.com] ;)
(it's actually quite impressive)

100yrs in the making... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010800)

The first player piano was made in 1895: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_piano [wikipedia.org]

Big Bertha never replaced entire bands http://www.bandorganmusic.com/machines/mbigbertha. htm [bandorganmusic.com] which had 369 pipes, a bass drum, a snare drum, two bells, tympani, double castanets, cymbals, a triangle, and a set of 18 bells. The very ingenious snare drum action stems back to the great Leonardo Da Vinci who designed this type of arrangement. The triangle perforations now activate the two comely bell-ringers. The Director, Big Bertha, is in time with the bass drum. The piccolos now play intermittently with the trumpets. When the piccolos are playing, the bell-ringers play in unison with the bass drum.

And this was without computers... just a role of paper with holes in it and pullys, springs and levers...

Televisions out the windows (1)

YuriGherkin (870386) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010805)

Yes, yes, but can it throw a television out of a hotel window?

aha! Gotcha!

What about guitarbot (1)

the real manta (319870) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010808)

I think this other robot [lemurbots.org] was a previous /. article

HC11? (1)

TheStonepedo (885845) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010814)

Georgia Tech ME is obsessed with HC11 evaluation boards.
What is their #1 reason to come to Grad school?
The potential to use the same old equipment as used in undergrad intoductory lab sections, of course!

If, among other benefits such as substantial paychecks, private industries have better microcontrollers with non-BASIC11 interfaces then the BSME->Industry->MBA track seems much better than BSME->MSME.

23 Solenoids (1)

postsingularity (874666) | more than 9 years ago | (#13010821)

While this is an interesting project the use of an array of solenoids really doesn't make much sense other than as an inexpensive hack for fingering. While a lot could be accomplished using the plucking mechanism, technique-wise the solenoid array is pretty useless. Understandably its a school project but the solenoid array does not seem like much of a challenge compared to developing an actuator to mimic vibrato, bends or even a sliding motion.
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