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Robot Punk's Not Dead!

Sid Vicious meets C-3P0 in London punk festival

Its a far cry from the heart-warming animated world of Pixar’s WALL-E, but British scientists have somehow managed to fuse robot technology and punk music.

Visitors to a series of punk shows at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) earlier this month were treated to the somewhat bizarre sight of three pogo-ing robots totally immersed in "the filth and the fury."

The machines, designed by a group of artists and scientists, had been programmed to respond specifically to punk music, according to a BBC report.

The 7-foot-tall padded robots were dressed, appropriately enough, in leather, safety pins, and other punk styles. A collection of processors running in a neural network within the machines was used to discern the differences between different types of music.

”The robot ‘brain’, for want of a better word, was played lots of punk, reggae, disco and classical and over a period of time,” explained Peter McOwan, a professor at Queen Mary University in London, in an interview with the BBC. “The robot has learned to recognize and appreciate the patterns of sound in punk music."

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