People often say that robots are becoming so advanced that they'll take over someday. Meet Vladimir Demin, the man who has created a guitar-playing robot! Vladimir is an engineer who creates instrument-playing robots in his spare time. As well as the guitar, he has created one that plays the accordion too.
In this video, which has gone viral on YouTube, his robot plays the theme from the popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. It is an amazing feat of engineering. The video focuses on the guitar and puts the robot at centre stage. If you're expecting to see a humanoid design like C3PO from Star Wars or Data from Star Trek, you'll be disappointed.
That said, it's still amazing to watch the guitar playing with no one holding it. Naturally, it plays the piece perfectly, but it is still obvious that it's not a human playing. It seems a little too clinical, too precise. One commenter suggested it sounds a little like the music from 90s computer games. However, it's still impressive, and another commenter chimed in:
"As a musician, I understand how some people feel that this sounds robotic and not human, perfect notes and rendition and whatever.. but this is so interesting in a tech aspect… the making of the robot, the programming etc… remember, this video is not to show off how well a robot can play… its just a showcase of an interestingly engineered and programmed robot"
Let's talk a little about this amazing machine's creator. Vladimir was born in the Eastern Siberia area but now lives in Moscow. He's an engineer and spends his days using a microprocessor to design circuits and then develop software for them. It explains where he gets his skills but creating musical robots is just a hobby.
He spends a lot of money buying custom-made solenoids from China to improve his robots, so it has cost him a fair bit of money. Vladimir's next project is to build an even more high-end accordion robot and then record duets with it and the guitar. He claims he will never create a full band as quality is more important than quantity, but who knows? Will we see the first robot orchestra one day? Watch this space!
If you would like to see more from this brilliant musician/creator, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel.