Never mind the debate over whether digital or vinyl is better for DJs — the real question is whether or not a human should be there in the first place. Prague’s Karlovy Lazne club has started employing an automotive robot arm as one of its DJs after its management challenged a robotics company to make it happen. The bot uses custom software to pick songs, and grabs CDs with its pincers to queue up tracks. It can dance and even scratch records. That’d make it more involved in the mix than some DJs we’ve seen.
The arm isn’t an open-to-close DJ. Ever since it started 3 weeks ago, it’s been on an hourly rotation with its programmer.
At least some clubbers seem to like the arm. However, Reuters points out the not-so-shocking objections from some on the dance floor: the robot can’t get a feel for what the crowd wants to hear, tell you to put your hands in the air or otherwise react like a flesh-and-blood jockey. We’d add that it’s not going to be very creative and isn’t about to cut up tracks like some of the most experienced DJs. For now, at least, your favorite laptop guru or turntablist will remain gainfully employed.