Can RoboThespian Replace Ed Sheeran?

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Don’t adjust your glasses…

You did read it correctly. Recently BBC Radio 1 posed the question, “Can A Robot Replace Ed Sheeran?” in their BBC iPlayer documentary of the same name. With the BBC’s textbook impartiality, presenter Greg James took a completely neutral view as to whether Ed Sheeran should be replaced by a robot. We, however, are far more convinced of the potential benefits of creating a Robot Ed Sheeran. Greg consulted robotics rock star Noel Sharkey and promptly Greg grabbed himself a RoboThespian as the likely candidate to replace Ed.

Greg James & Noel Sharkey Discuss creating a Robot Ed Sheeran

Diva Interview


RoboThespians are nothing without personality, and this one (Boris) is particularly cheeky. This was highlighted in the documentary when he was asked by Greg “Do you like Ed Sheeran?”. We won’t give away any spoilers. But he was very cheeky indeed. If you want to find out what he said, the interview starts at 4’40”.


Greg James interviews RoboThespian, about becoming a Robot Ed Sheeran
Robot Ed Sheeran performing Shape of You

Rock Solid Performance


The beauty of RoboThespian is that he is both a technological marvel and rock solid in his reliability. This was proven on the day of recording. There were many location changes and set ups throughout the day. Meaning that robot Ed Sheeran had to be broken apart and transported from location to location. Then set up quickly and be ready to perform when the camera crew were ready. Because this isn’t RoboThespian’s first time in the big time, he handled it like a pro. This contrasts with the fantastic Robotic orchestra. Although a truly wonderful thing, it proved to be unreliable. With last minute hiccups meaning the team behind it had to pull an “all nighter” to make sure it went ahead. Whereas Mark had no such worries and turned up to the shoot, well rested and calm.

Easy to Programme

The animation of the performance was undertaken by Mark from Robo4Hire. He used our animation software Virtual Robot. This is bundled with every robot we sell. He was able to drag audio assets into his browser and animate all of RoboThespian’s movements, colours and eyes. A painless and intuitive process, with zero coding knowledge required. See the video below, showing just how easy it is.


Up there with the greats…

The filming and recording of the final performance took place at the world famous Maida Vale studios. They have hosted such greats as Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles. Even with this provenance, they had never recorded a robot performer. Boris, as Robot Ed Sheeran was well and truly inducted in the to the hall of fame.

The Show Must go on

Despite the technical problems, the robotic orchestra got sorted and the Ed Sheeran performance happened. RT had a great time and is now waiting for a record contract with Parlophone.

Better than Ed Sheeran?

We’ll let you decide. Mark (Boris’ roboteer) thinks so. ‘I thought Boris’s version of Shape of You was better than the original,’ he says, ‘but don’t tell Ed!’

Not a One Hit Wonder…


Now, this Robot Ed Sheeran thing is not RoboThespian’s first rodeo. As the two videos below prove.



Want to see more videos? Of course you do!

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