This robot orchestra asks people to make old tech into something amazing

Ever wondered what happened to your old floppy disk drives? Some of them might be making music as part of the Robot Orchestra in the UK.

Many of the musicians in this robot orchestra are made from old, recycled or obsolete bits of tech, like floppy disk drives. Others are classics with a twist, including motorised violas, glockenspiels and even a didgeridoo.

The conductor of this orchestra is Danielle George, an electronics engineer and professor at the University of Manchester. Her mission: to get more people making robots making music. She calls it a “citizen engineering project”, designed to get adults and kids interested in STEM by thinking differently about what robots can do.

The project was launched in 2016, and the robot musicians have come from across the UK, built by researchers, musicians, artists, engineers and children.

“I want to show how everyone can discover the secret engineer inside themselves and build an amazing machine from their imagination. A new musical engineering revolution has begun.” – Professor Danielle George

Now, it just needs a bit more cowbell.