Behold: The divabot–soon to be known as the greatest threat to the music industry since Napster.
Using breath-analysis software and mouth-movement observations, engineers in Japan have taught a robot how to sing. The divabot, an HRP-4 with a creepily realistic tilting head, blinks and opens her mouth as she croons, even mimicking the facial expressions of the human singer.
Researchers used a real singer as a model, recording her every move as she sang.
Masataka Goto, who leads the Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technologyâ€™s media interaction group, explains that researchers developed a software program called VocaListener to synthesize notes, and a program called Vocawatcher to analyze a singerâ€™s facial tics as she belts out a tune. The robotâ€™s head therefore follows the roll, pitch and yaw movements of the real singer.
Check out the above video to see the divabot in action: She sings! She
dances wobbles! As you can see, Miss Robo-Thang is giving every other pop ho in the building a run for her money (yen?).
Sugary electro-vocals gleeful and piercing enough to make Perfume burst into tears? Check.
Minimal hip-swaying ‘dance moves’ sharp enough to snatch Katy Perry‘s tattered blue wig? Check.
And as for that impeccable stage presence? I’ll be damned if the gays in Camp Ke$ha and the Haus of Gaga aren’t already scrambling to Google “implant Auto-Tune into human brain” at this very moment.
In conclusion: Robots are taking over the world.