By Trevor MoggProvided by
Well, who would've thought it? All these years we humans have been playing the piano with ten fingers when apparently 19 are needed to do it properly.
Italian Matteo Suzzi has created a piano-playing robot which, claims the inventor, can play the instrument faster than any human.
The robot, called Teotronica, also has video-camera eyes which enable it to make sense of its surroundings, and even interact with its audience. Its design is, however, rather crude, with large tennis-ball eyes and facial expressions that seem to depend purely on the position of its eyebrows, though there's no doubting its piano skills.
Teotronica, which took four years to make at a cost of about $4,700, can play any tune you like, its 34-year-old creator told the Daily Mail.
"I've always had a passion for robots and robotics. I was really excited when I discovered you could create an independent robot that could play any tune or composition," he said.
Although the likes of Chopin and Beethoven seemed to do just fine with ten fingers, Matteo claims Teotronica's extra ones make the robot that little bit more special.
He explains: "Having 19 fingers gives the robot a better execution speed, making him faster than a human." That's all well and good for an original composition, but it's unlikely too many people will be able to enjoy Moonlight Sonata played at three times the normal speed. Then again, perhaps Teotronica could tour the world as a kind of novelty act, playing all the great piano pieces at a speed that might leave Elton John wondering if he should have some new digits surgically attached.
Matteo has high hopes for his invention. "He's performed at a number of private parties and is a hit with the guests. We're hoping he can revolutionise the music industry," he said.
Click here to see the 19-fingered music maestro at work.