New Viral YouTube Clip: Flying robots play James Bond theme on real instruments


OK, bit of fun today … it was posted to YouTube a few days ago and already has over 783,000 hits (as time of writing this) … yep, its gone viral (and I’m helping by telling you about it) .

So where did it come from and why has it taken off so quickly?

It premièred at the TED2012 Conference in Long Beach, California on February 29, 2012  so with lots of folks watching that, this has quickly hit the radar. Deputy Dean for Education and GRASP lab member Vijay Kumar presented some of this groundbreaking work to an amazed audience. (Click here to see his TED talk)

What do you get to see?

Flying robot quadrotors perform the James Bond Theme by playing various instruments including the keyboard, drums and maracas, a cymbal, and the debut of an adapted guitar built from a couch frame. The quadrotors play this “couch guitar” by flying over guitar strings stretched across a couch frame; plucking the strings with a stiff wire attached to the base of the quadrotor. A special microphone attached to the frame records the notes made by the “couch guitar”.

So what is the big deal?

Oh come on … its fun but also interesting because these flying quadrotors are completely autonomous. In other words humans are not controlling them; rather they are controlled by a computer programed with instructions to play the instruments.

Who did this and what happens next?

The Video was Produced and Directed by Kurtis Sensenig, and the Quadrotors and Instruments by Daniel Mellinger, Alex Kushleyev and Vijay Kumar.

The guys who did this, Daniel Mellinger and Alex Kushleyev, have formed a company called KMel Robotics that will design and market these quadrotors.

Got any more info?

Sure … click here.

There is also an earlier clip from January (below) and has had over 5 Million hits. They guys tell you more about their Quadrotors.

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