The Flying Rockstars


In 1483, Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketch of the ‘Aerial Screw’ or ‘Gyroscope’ showed the world how a basic helicopter can look like. That was enough inspiration for aviation to thrive over the years. Aerospace technology has risen to heights way beyond a naked eye’s reach. Today, NASA’s Robonaut 2 can perform telemedicine to administer care to astronauts flying aboard the International Space Station. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Well, it’s time to drop your jaw. How about someone tells you that a group of tiny robots can fly and create music at the same time in ways never seen before? Yes, you heard it right. Create music.


Two graduates, Alex Kushleyev and Daniel Mellinger, from The University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP (General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception) lab have ingeniously pushed the limits of experimental robotics with the launch of their company KMel Robotics. Experts in hardware design and high-performance, the duo present a team of flying robots that may well be the future of surveillance, search, rescue and warfare, but their design can also perform live music that is rhythmic and fascinating.



Quadrotors, as they are called, are quite capable of agile flight. They can navigate pretty easily in environments with obstacles, comfortably turning fiction into fact. But who would have believed these nano quadrotors would one day even tap on instruments to play songs.


The hexrotors create music like playing a single string guitar hooked up to an electric guitar amp, and drums are hit with precision using a deconstructed piano action. Well, all one can say is that these tiny robots are programmed to do big things. It is an amalgam of aviation and creativity, like never before. Alex and Daniel’s modernization is indeed music to our ears.

Watch the video to enjoy breathtaking live music.


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