July 28, 2009

The Many Robots of Guitar Hero

Since the original Guitar Hero was released in 2005, every hardcore geek who has played it has wondered, at one point or another, the same thing:

Hmm. Couldn’t we build a robot to play songs perfectly?

Sure you can! There have been many successful attempts to build Guitar Hero playing robots. Here are all the ones I know of.

SlashBot
Texas A&M

(If you’re curious, there are more technical details on how SlashBot works, here. All the camera based ‘bots work pretty much equivalently.)

Guitar Heronoid
GarageGeeks

CythBot
Cyth Sytems

Guitar Hero Robot
Joe Bowers

DeepNote Guitar Hero Robot
Convolve, Inc. Interns

I think there are serious limits to how accurate you can be using analog sensors against the TV screen — limits which will prevent these bots from ever producing a perfect score on the really tough songs. But these are very impressive results nonetheless, and certainly fun engineering projects!

Going in a slightly different direction, there’s an enterprising user who wired up a controller to play the actual note chart for the songs, avoiding any analog camera note detection inaccuracies.

Along those same lines, here’s a guitar controller with a LCD and pre-programmed note charts with a “strum to start” directive.

Now this starts to feel a bit less like a cool hack and more like cheating. If the timing is right, these would get 100% perfect scores every time, even on the hardest guitar songs.

Did I miss any notable guitar hero playing ‘bots?

Yea I see what you mean the things I like to “mod” are more aesthetic and they do not effect game play, but this does feel like cheating.

zzxxima
July 28, 2009 at 6:42 am

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