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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Robots perform 'Doctor Who' theme

Watch 15 robotic musicians join forces with humans to perform the theme song to "Doctor Who." Even Daleks would be impressed.

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Not all robots want to destroy the Doctor, as demonstrated by these mechanical musicians. Screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Robot bands have recorded albums with human musicians, covered the Ramones and even taken their place behind turntables as DJs. So why not a full robot orchestra who prefer to pay tribute to "Doctor Who?"

As part of this year's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on UK TV channel BBC Four, 15 robotic musicians, alongside humans, perform a rousing cover of the "Doctor Who" theme.

Considering the Time Lord's run-ins with mechanical and robot-like villains such as the clockwork robots, Cybermen and Daleks, it makes sense that robots should play this musical tribute.

While some of musicians in the orchestra include sophisticated humanoid robots playing a Theremin and keyboards, others are merely robotic arms holding drumsticks and printers keeping the beat. There's even a drone thrown in for good measure.

Started by the British scientist Michael Faraday in 1825, the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are broadcast in the UK on television annually over the holidays. Every year, the theme of the lecture changes and they are presented by experts in their field.

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Robots who wear Fez hats and bow ties are cool. Screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

This year the theme was "Sparks will fly: How to hack your home," presented by Prof. Danielle George -- an electrical engineer from the University of Manchester.

"Inspired by the Royal Institution's very own Michael Faraday, Prof. Danielle George attempts to use simple motors to construct the world's greatest robot orchestra," according to the Royal Institution's website. "In this lecture, Danielle will explain how these robotic and motor-driven appliances work and show how they can adapted to help you kick start a technological revolution."

The Royal Institution's website also has numerous science projects you can make yourself, including homemade projectors, musical tins, remote-control presents, touchscreen gloves, LED throwies and more.