I'm having flashbacks to childhood visits to Showbiz Pizza, but this robot band, put together by researchers at Drexel University for an Engineering Week exhibition, is a bit more impressive than the animatronic animals that entertained people over plates of bad pizza.
For one thing: These musical bots aren't just going through the motions, performing pre-programmed movements in time to a tape of music.
Produced by the Music & Entertainment Technology Laboratory, 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.
Read more in Music at Boing Boing
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.