Don’t have a bass guitarist? Just have a robot play it

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James McVay

The bass guitar always seems to be the last instrument a rock band member chooses to play. In the future, you might not have to find someone to settle for it; instead, you could build a robot to play this seemingly less popular—but integral—part of the band.

James McVay , an honor student from the Victoria University of Wellington, built his own bass-strutting robot for his year-end engineering school project. Deemed the MechBass, this robot bass player nails the instrument down to some of the most intricate rifts done by Muse.

In the video spotted by Ubergizmo, the MechBass plays a cover of "Hysteria" by Muse using four separate actuated strings controlled by an Arduino-compatible board. The four separate housings are made out of 3D-printed and laser cut parts, and they allow the machine to individually pluck, strum, and fret each string.

I still say the machine still sounds pretty hollow without any visible sound box. However, I’m much more interested in seeing it play in a way that’s impossible with the human hand, such as fretting the lines on two completely opposite ends. This robot joins theguitar-playing bot and the all-robot band the HUBOs in the unending quest to render humans obsolete.

Would you listen to an all-robot band? Tell us in the comments.

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