Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), have been in the news a lot lately, flying around in formation, scaring the crap out of us, and pointing to a future that might end up looking like the siege of Zion at end of the Matrix trilogy. But fear not, because their future may not lie in remotely devastating perceived enemies, but instead they could be the next big thing in robotic bands. Or at least, carve out a niche in touring covers of film scores.
Here is the incredible feat of robot quadrotors performing the “James Bond Theme”—autonomously playing the keyboard, drums, maracas, a cymbal, and a specially adapted guitar created from the frame of a couch, which they pluck using a stiff wire.
These musical drones are the product of engineers Daniel Mellinger and Alex Kushleyev from Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. They’ve formed a company called KMel Robotics to design and market these quadrotors, and potentially storm the iTunes charts.