Gibson's Robot Guitar--exposed!

At a conference in San Jose, teardown specialists take apart the self-tuning guitar to see how it works.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--For the gathering of curious onlookers eager to see what a Sony OLED TV looks like on the inside, officials at the Embedded Systems Conference had some bad news: The airline (no, they didn't say which one) lost their stuff. Unfortunately, their stuff included that TV.

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Instead, as a last-minute replacement, we got Gibson's Robot guitar, which was scheduled for the teardown treatment later this week. (See our earlier coverage of the Robot guitar here and video of it in action.)

David Carey, president of Protelligent, a company that specializes in taking apart electronics piece by piece, took the stage with the electric-blue electric guitar and a variety of tools. Starting at the bottom of the instrument and working his way up the strings to the head, Carey explained how there's actually nothing robotic about the guitar at all.

The "robot" part of the name refers to the guitar being self-tuning. "It's not a robot," Carey noted. "Electro-mechanics join with embedded processing to achieve an automatically tuning electric guitar. It's one of the best examples of an embedded system I've seen in a long time."

The technology inside is licensed from German company Tronical, and it's integrated with what is essentially a standard Gibson Les Paul.

Click here for the full gallery of how the guitar works.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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