Scientists have built a robot head that can read a musical text and then sing it in a synthesized voice.
Chyi-Yeu Lin and colleagues at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei created a robot that first takes a photo of the music, which is notated with numbers and words, using cameras built into the eyes, reports New Scientist.
An algorithm extracts pitch, rhythm, and lyrics from that image and sends the information to a voice synthesiser.
The synthesiser matches sounds in the Mandarin language with the Roman spellings of the lyrics.
Then, in a sudden burst of activity, the robot begins to sing, its mouth opening and closing with the words.
“Maybe it”s one of those things that a robot can do better than ordinary people,” Lin said.
“It can read [the music] in 40 seconds and then close its eyes to sing.”
The robot can sing songs from any culture, as long as the lyrics are written with Roman spellings, Lin added.