Robot orchestra marries music and machines (video)

It may not be the first go-round for the Karmetik Machine Orchestra, but the automated musicians, fashioned by a group of students at the California Institute of the Arts, took the stage last night to prove that robots can rock. Among the mechanized musicians scheduled to perform at the Walt Disney Modular Theater were MahaDevibot, Glockenbot, BreakBot, and NotomotoN, described as a "duel-head drum with twelve beaters and a mallet orchestra." Each of the robots was built from salvaged parts and programmed by CalArts students, who control the machines from laptops during performances. A description of the show posted to the CalArts website touts music-producing robots suspended from the ceiling that trigger sound activated light shows and animation -- now that sounds like a way to spend a Thursday night. Check out a video of the players and their masters after the break.