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Robot band makes its debut on a campus in the capital

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-05-08 09:30

BEIJING - The performers played different Chinese musical instruments on stage, swinging along with the melodious sounds. Welcome to the debut performance of Moja - a band of three robots.

Students from Tsinghua University recently enjoyed a special musical play, which tells the story of a student who faces many challenges when he invents musical robots in a lab. The musical drama was performed by both human actors and robots.

The three Moja band members are Yuheng, Yaoguang and Kaiyang. They are named after three stars of the Big Dipper, and they play traditional Chinese musical instruments - bamboo flute, konghou, an ancient plucked stringed instrument, and drums.

The robot band project was developed by teachers and students from Tsinghua, as well as teams of entrepreneurs made up of the university's graduates. The developers have different skills, such as robot control and interaction experts, sculpture artists, new media artists, drama experts and musicians.

"In terms of appearance, we try to create images from the perspective of sculptors, in order to make the robots' postures and shapes look more realistic," says Mi Haipeng, an associate professor at Tsinghua University's Academy of Arts and Design. Mi also leads the project.

In recent years, as a new art form, robot art has emerged at home and abroad. Unlike industrial robots and service robots, art robots pay more attention to the relationship between robots and humans or between robots and social culture.

"Across the bridge of art, we hope to convey the idea of a harmonious coexistence between humans and technology," Mi says, adding that the robot band will have more members in the future.

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