We have been constructing cars out of LEGO blocks and ramped them off in our childhood. The sound of the cars exploding into dozens of pieces as they crashed was almost musical, but no where near as musical as what Giuseppe Acito has done.
The Italian music producer has put together the “Toa Mata Band,” a quartet that includes several small robotic LEGO figures programmed to play various electronic instruments.
Acito used LEGO Bionicle pieces to build each band member. An ingenious system of rubber bands and pulleys connected to the figures’ arms allowed them to play an array of different synthesizers, drum machines and other vintage equipment. The arms are controlled by an Arduino Uno connected to an iPad running Nord Beat.
The Toa Mata Band plays covers and don’t think they’re without a few originals. Besides performing pre-programmed material, they can also play “live,” as long as a human engineer is there to add real-time commands to the MIDI sequence. The bots in the band haven’t given word whether or not they will tour, but it appears they’re still practicing and getting to know each other.