Domo Arigato (Thank You Very Much), Mr. Roboto
In November 2008, Astuo Takanishi and his fellow researchers from Japan's Waseda University, introduced to the world a new flute prodigy. The Robo flautist made headlines thanks to his dapper black bowler, flawless music and the fact that he not human but, a robot! Now, the talented musician has been joined by . . . . . .a saxophone tooting pal.
While the flutist took many years to perfect, his buddy, the saxophonist was completed in a relatively short period of time - partly because he is not as dapper looking as Robo Flautist, but also, because the saxophone sound is easier to replicate than the flute.
Both robots are equipped with cameras in their eyes and can 'hear' with microphones. This allows for them to interact with each other, as well as, with the human instrumentalistsand, respond accordingly. While not perfect yet, the two robots are able to respond to a musical piece after 'hearing' it played by a human.
Professor Takanishi's ultimate goal is to create an entire robot orchestra - one that will interact with each other and with humans and be able to improvise jazz band style, as they go along. I wonder what jazz legend Louis Armstrong would think of that idea?
The videos below showcases the talented duo playing the classical piece, “Trois Duos de Mendelssohn et Lachner.” as well as Robo flautist taking cue from a human musician. Pretty darn amazing, don't you think?
sources: physorg.com, spectrum.ieee,org.