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A serenade you can’t refuse: Ukulele-playing robot plays ‘The Godfather’ theme

UkuRobot - The Godfather Theme

When the machines do finally gain sentience, turn against their masters, and either enslave us or destroy us, we hope they at least have the decency to send UkuRobot as an emissary to break the bad news. A compact ukulele-plucking robot, UkuRobot is one of the zaniest, most brilliant bots we’ve seen in ages — and we can simply think of no better way to be deposed as the most dominant intelligence on Earth than by having it serenade/eulogize us with the theme from The Godfather or, perhaps more appropriately, Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” Heck, it’s enough to make you cheerful about the Singularity!

“What we’ve created is a robot that plays ukulele,” the UkuRobot team member known only as Jakub told Digital Trends. “It’s controlled via Bluetooth by software of our own design, that allows us to compose and play any song we want. The user is also able to play separate notes and chords — so it’s like playing the instrument traditionally, but using only your computer mouse. Excellent choice for fans of live music.”

UkuRobot - Boulevard of Broken Dreams

UkuRobot started out as a semester project at AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland. Jakub said the team was aiming for something “cool and creative,” and, obviously, nothing says cool and creative quite like an Arduino-powered robot playing a Hawaiian stringed instrument. Since then, the team has continued to hone new versions of UkuRobot, transforming it into the lean, mean, plucking machine that it is today. Oh, and if you think you’ve seen it all … well, there’s a lot more plucking where that came from.

“I would say that our plans for the future are quite ambitious,” Jakub saied. “We are planning to gradually rebuild the entire robot — give it a smoother design, better motors that won’t generate so much noise, and to further improve our software. We are also planning to add some new functionalities, but those will remain top secret until they are finished.”

For now, you’ll just to have to sit back, enjoy a robot reinterpreting some memorable tunes, and think about ways to be nicer to the machines in your life for when the inevitable revolution happens.

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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