ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A professor of musical technology at Georgia Tech, Gil Weinberg, enlisted the support of graduate student Scott Driscoll to create Haile -- the first truly robotic musician. In this way, he became a sort of Geppetto creating his musical Pinocchio.Watch out Styxx! You have competition!
"Computers have been playing music for 50 years," Driscoll said. "But we wanted to create something that didn't just play back what it heard, but play off it, too."
Think of Haile (pronounced Hi-lee) as a robotic partner in the percussion form of dueling banjos. Although it has numerous musical algorithms programmed into it, Haile's basic function is to "listen" to what musicians are playing and play along with them. (Watch as Haile keeps the beat -- 5:11)
If the musicians change the beat or rhythm, Haile is right there with them."