Man builds Guitar Hero-playing robot


Science nerds, arm chair rock stars, and gamers, meet Roxanne.

Pete Nikrin, a manufacturing engineer, teamed up with an instructor at his alma mater, Minnesota West Technical College, to create a Guitar Hero-playing robot for some awesome reason. The (paranoid) android can detect transitions between light and dark pixels in whatever it is she's focused on, thanks to a sensor implanted in her left eye (the patch-like abrasion over said eye is not, as we first surmised, a nod to the late Lisa Lopes).

Maybe it's because we posses the engineering savvy of a dead oak tree, but color us mightily impressed. As for how the hell he got it to work, it's probably best let Nikrin explain it. From trade publication Product Design and Development (confusion-clearer-upper: references to "the Edge" have nothing to do with the allegedly sentient guitarist):

"We set-up five Edge tools that ran horizontally across the screen, one for every fret, and positioned the tools to focus on the notes at the bottom of each," Nikrin said. "The Edge tools sent a constant signal as the five vertical fret lines progressed, and when a bright white dot appeared in the middle of a dark colored circle, the Edge tool allowed the sensor detect it."

While pretty damned good, Roxanne is not quite perfect. She rocks 100 percent on Medium, but drops to 95 percent on Hard, and 80 percent on Expert due to want of finger dexterity.

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