Xiaomi made a humanoid robot that can play a drum kit

Humanoid robots have long been a passion project for tech giants and experimental engineers. And these days, it seems like everyone wants one. But for machines, social skills are hard to learn, and more often than not, these robots have a hard time adjusting to the human world.

Xiaomi, a China-based consumer electronics company, teased that they were making such a machine back in August. According to the company’s press release, the 5-foot-8 bot, called CyberOne, probably isn’t meant to be that useful. IEEE spectrum reported, but that it is “a way of exploring possibilities with technology that may have useful applications elsewhere.”

As for the robot’s specifications, the company said that CyberOne comes with a “deep vision module” as well as an AI interaction algorithm. In addition, it can support up to 21 degrees of freedom in motion and has a real-time response rate that “allows it to fully simulate human movements.”

Xiaomi has just unveiled a new CyberOne clip, and it’s slowly but surely playing a multi-instrument drum set. She is able to precisely coordinate a series of complex movements including striking the drumsticks, playing the cymbals, the pedal, and a set of four drums to produce a variety of sounds. And he certainly is more elegant and evolved than other more rudimentary (and sometimes disembodied) robot bands and orchestras of the past.

[Related: How Spotify trained an AI to transcribe music]

So how does CyberOne know what to do? Xiaomi made a diagram showing how sound files are converted to movements for CyberOne. First, the commands for drum velocity and drum position are set online. These rhythms are then sent to CyberOne via a MIDI file, which tells the computer what instrument was played, what notes were played on the instrument, at what volume and for how long they were played, and with what effects, if any. there was. The robot then uses an offline motion library to generate the moves for its performance, taking care to hit the correct instrument and on time.

Executing instructions in a concise, controlled and coordinated manner is a difficult exercise even for humans. Humanoid robots are different from normal bots because they are meant to emulate natural movements, but they can often be impractical in a real world environment. They need specialized training to perform the simplest functions (such as not falling). A humanoid robot capable of honing a skill like playing the drums could be useful for a variety of complex tasks that might involve manipulating or interacting with objects in its environment.

“We are working on the second generation of CyberOne and hope to further improve its locomotion and manipulation capabilities,” said Zeyu Ren, a senior hardware engineer at Xiaomi’s robotics lab. IEEE spectrum. “At the hardware level, we plan to add more degrees of freedom, integrate self-developed dexterous hands, and add more sensors. At the software level, more robust control algorithms for locomotion and vision will be developed.”

Check out CyberOne’s beat below:

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