Drexel's Hubo humanoid robots perform the Beatles in student-created music video [VIDEO] - Technical.ly Philly

Apr. 5, 2012 11:00 am

Drexel’s Hubo humanoid robots perform the Beatles in student-created music video [VIDEO]

Drexel’s Hubo robots may not be able to clean your room or make you breakfast just yet, but they can regale you with a hit song from one of the most celebrated bands of all time. Earlier this week, Drexel University’s Music & Entertainment Technology Laboratory (MET-lab) released a student-produced music video of Hubo robots […]

Drexel’s Hubo robots may not be able to clean your room or make you breakfast just yet, but they can regale you with a hit song from one of the most celebrated bands of all time.

Earlier this week, Drexel University’s Music & Entertainment Technology Laboratory (MET-lab) released a student-produced music video of Hubo robots performing and singing an impressive, if a bit tinny rendition of “Come Together” by The Beatles (below).

Students programmed the Korean-designed robots using a software they designed to recreate the gestures and notes based on the musical score, according to a press release.

MET-lab student Matthew Prockup created the musical arrangement for the Hubo instruments, a drum kit and three “Hubophones,” percussion instruments created specifically for the production of the video, wrote Dr. Youngmoo Kim in a release that accompanies the video. Dr. Kim is the associate professor and assistant dean of media technologies in the College of Engineering and director of the Music and Entertainment Technology Lab

From the summary:

“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.”

The minute-and-a-half long music video required 19 takes, as Newsworks reported.

Seven Hubo robots debuted their dance moves in Philadelphia at the start of Engineers Week in February, as Technically Philly reported. At the time, it was the largest group of humanoid robots ever to share a stage, according to the organizers of the event.

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Two multi-million dollar National Science Foundation grants helped bring the Hubo technology from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) Hubo Lab, Drexel’s original humanoid robotics research partner, as well as continued research and development of the technology.

This summer, all the robots but the first arrival, Jaemi Hubo, will be distributed to Drexel’s U.S.-based partner schools for additional complementary research.

Lest you feel concerned about the welfare of approximately four foot robots that slightly resemble elementary school children, the video producers have forewarned, “No robots were harmed during the making of this video” — at least not seriously.

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Yael Borofsky was the lead reporter for Technically Philly from from December 2011 to June 2012 before leaving to pursue an urban studies graduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously she was an editor with the Breakthrough Journal in San Francisco. She loves hockey and coffee.

  • Alison Boyce

    Do you remember the movie ‘Bicentennial Man’? Feels like we are moving ever closer to that…..

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