Rock Exoskeletons: The Future Of Music Belongs to Cyborgs

Japanese artist Nobumichi Tosa has an interesting concept for the future of musical performance: Interactive, movement-controlled exoskeletons programmed (much like a synthesizer,) to produce any range of sounds. It’s operated by the speed of the user’s movement, the position of his poses, and the appearance of certain specific gestures. And though this particular device is only used for performance art by Nobumichi’s design troop, Maywa Denki, the idea in general is gaining a lot of ground.

There are several simpler iterations of this concept that work via ultrasound, radar, or lasers that register movement within their field. In general, this method allows a much greater range of sound – with every subtle movement being capable of slight variations in both pitch and tone – but it also incorporates the physical aspects of dance into the act of producing music. But Nobumichi Tosa’s device differs substantially from these other motion-controlled instruments by virtue of one simple but important distinction: IT’S A FUCKING ROCK BATTLEMECH FROM THE FUTURE!

Watch this, and realize that, thanks to Nobumichi Tosa, your over-the-top rockstar fantasies have now completely merged with your desperate childhood desire to be Voltron:

Now, admittedly that music in the video is nowhere near rock god status, but shit, it’s pretty much just a Casio Gundam – you could program anything you wanted in there and then sync it to any gesture: Clapping becomes a twelve piece drumset, jumpkicks provide a steady bass line, while giant, sweeping middle fingers rage like epic guitar solos in a darkened arena… and all while looking like a fucking Robocop villain!

There’s a lot of art-speak surrounding this motion/music concept – Tosa, for example, considers himself a “nonsense artist” (which differs from every other artist how, exactly?) but that doesn’t mean this one has to die off like all the other performance arts bullshit devices. This one’s actually useful! Picture a future where musicians – still largely unemployed hacks in torn jeans – will have to strap on epic, specialized battle suits before they’d even be allowed to perform on the eight inch tall stage of a coffee shop’s open mic night. It would instantly weed out all the shiftless Jack Johnson acoustic hacks! But more importantly, picture a future where your favorite band strolls on-stage decked out in their own intricate robotics. As the lights begin to dim and a roar comes up from the audience, they start the show… by bolting together like Constructicons of Rock.

Listen, I know this post is a little light on technical information, which I am usually pretty good about – but that’s due to three things:

1. This is all fairly underground right now. There’s just not much detail available.

2. What detail is available, is mostly in Japanese.


So to tide you over, I dug around as much as I could and found a few more devices by Maywa Denki. Though none come close to the Guitar Solo Terminator up there, they’ll at least clue you in to the level of insanity behind these inventors:

From the Site: “A musical device operated by electronic finger snappers.”

So…you need electronic finger snappers just to play it? Has anybody even invented those yet? Talk about putting the cart before the horse, and then mounting rockets on the cart and blasting it into space so that the horse may never hope to find it.

This is a thirteen-week-old-fetus-faced pistol. You pull the trigger to operate the horrible undead baby face’s mouth, ostensibly for ‘ventriloquist purposes,’ which either means that the translator responsible for this copy didn’t recognize the world ‘ventriloquist,’ or else the whole profession takes on a horrifying turn in Japan. But hey, it is fun for the whole family! Or at least it will be, after you murder them and take on their personas!

And finally: Post-apocalyptic fish crossbow! What is it really used for? It’s not! It really is a fish crossbow. Because fuck fish, that’s why!

So, in summation, Maywa Denki is the hot new company to watch! Because if you take your eye off them, next thing you know the Rockmechs are coming for you – and may god have mercy on your soul if they find you without your Fetus Face Pistol and Fishbow at the ready…

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16 Responses to Rock Exoskeletons: The Future Of Music Belongs to Cyborgs

  1. tojo2000 says:

    The sad thing is that you just know if that somewhere, someone is thinking of a way to use the fetus face pistol as a sex toy.

  2. apolicious says:

    thinking of using? you’re behind the times, friend.

  3. Muledriver says:

    I was going to say the same thing about the fish crossbow.

  4. Brett says:

    I think I used that fish crossbow as a guitar in Majora’s Mask… God damn I was a rockin’ Zora. We played the fucking MILK BAR man!

  5. Anon says:

    “I want to change the rou”

  6. Smart-Maker says:

    So basically it seems that science wants to remove all purpose for human talent? Sure it may seem small now, but what happens when the Dick-Joke-Matic 2.0 hits the stores? We are being made obsolete, people! By the Japanese, probaly as revenge for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They’ve already taken away breast-fondling. THE END IS NIGH!

  7. Did no one notice that the japanese rockomech guy was saying that he wants: A Bright Piss World, a bright piss world. Halfway in. Some people would go for New World Order or “Bright future”. He alludes towards a world filled with bright piss.

    Possibly in peoples pants.

    Even if he’s saying “Bright Peace World”. That just sounds fucking sinister.
    “Behold I and my Japanese corporation wish for a “Bright Peace world”.”

    “Now behold my rockomechs, heavy metalmechs, hip-hopomechs and gay-popomechs. Muhahaha.
    All shall tremble before my vision of the bright peace world.”

    Come on? Nobody made fun of the Japanese scientist saying bright peace world in a blatant display of primitiveness. Shame on you fellow internet weirdies. Shame on you.

  8. says:

    I think it is a great idea. Think about hte ohter things we cold do with them: we could rig some of them to explode, and then attach them to The Jonas Brothers, Hanna Montana, Miley Cyrus, and the rest of the Disney Channel. That is what he meant when he said “Bright piss world” it is a simple way to assassinate annoying people.

    Actually, it would probably be simpler to shoot them.

  9. Robert says:


    You should check out the Cracked feature up today about SFW fetishes. Basically, people want to fuck everything. I guarantee you that not only has somebody fucked that dead baby gun, but that somebody is probably doing it right now, as we speak.


    I think it’s less that they want to take things away from people, as much as it is they want to give things to robots. They want robots to understand the joy of music and titties. And one glorious day, they will. The robots will understand guitars and boobs.


    It’s Japan: The place full of neon and bathroom fetishes. Technically, it already is a bright piss world.

  10. says:

    Robert you’re starting to piss me off! Get it?

  11. Smart-Maker says:

    Here’s a philosophical question for you: If a robot understands boobs and guitars, can it still be considered a robot? I mean, isn’t rock and tits the only thing that makes us human?

  12. Brett says:

    Loved your Rorschach piece Robert, I tell you here because you never acknowledge my comments on Cracked. What? Am I not cool enough to hang out with your Cracked fans?

  13. Psi says:

    This brings a whole new meaning to the term: “battle of the bands.”

  14. Robert says:


    When a robot can masturbate, then it will be complete. That is the ultimate symbol of humanity.


    I skim the comments mostly, too much hate over the months has led to me just glazing over most of the stuff, only making the obligatory comment or two to make it seem like I’m in touch with the fans. I’m too big to mingle, I guess is what I’m saying. My showbiz ego has taken over.


    Pun! Somebody ring the pun alarm, we’ve got a five alarm pun here!

  15. deadlytoque says:

    Man I go on vacation for a week and Japan goes all crazypants again.

    Thank you, Brockway, for being vigilant about this sort of thing.

  16. Psi says:

    Aha, Psi 92 – Internet 1 (don’t ask)

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