The list of tasks at which robots can match, or beat, humans has taken another step towards completion. The latest of these to fall comes via Seth Goldstein, a ‘kinetic sculpture machine’-maker who spends his time building robots with specific, intricate purposes. Goldstein’s latest work is Ro-Bow, a robot who can play the violin. And it's really, really good.
The machine uses ‘electromagnetic actuators’ (aka fingers) to play the instrument, rotating it and manipulating the bow to create beautiful music.
It’s a lovely machine, as are the retired engineer's other works including ‘Why Not?’, a robot that continually ties, and unties, ties. And while robots who play instruments are nothing new - they’ve been doing it for hundreds of years - it’s still nice to see something so subtle and magical can be made by one human’s hands.