Entries with tag music robot.

Robots and Algorithms: Making Beautiful Music Together

French and US researchers are developing algorithms enabling computers to produce original music based on existing styles. “We are quite close now to [programming computers to] generate nice melodies in the style of pop composers such as [Michel] Legrand or [Paul] McCartney,” Francois Pachet, head of Sony’s Computer Science Lab in Paris, told The Atlantic website. One of the team’s experiments combined the sound of legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker with the style of French composer Pierre Boulez. . “Instead of thinking of it as computer-generated music,” said noted jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, “I tend to think more along the lines of computer assisted, since whoever writes the code or whichever user sets the parameters is going to be making many of the decisions about what the result might be like.” Among the possible applications for such technology could include generating music for public spaces, such as malls; and creating algorithms able to respond to the environment, such as creating soothing music when a baby is crying. (The Atlantic)(Sony Computer Science Lab)(Francois Pachet)

Robot Companion Lets the Music Play

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Music Technology have developed a robot designed to help people better enjoy music. Shimi is a smartphone-enabled robot that recommends songs based on ongoing listener feedback and dances to the music’s beat. The one-foot-tall robot is a docking station powered by an Android-compatible phone. When the phone is docked, the robot accesses applications on the device that let it function. Through the phone’s camera and face-detecting software, for example, Shimi follows a user around the room and repositions its speakers to provide the user with the best sound possible. It can also take a rhythm tapped by a user and find songs on the device with a similar tempo. Once the music is playing, Shimi dances. The scientists are working on more features, such as having Shimi skip a song or change the volume based on hand movements. The researchers—with colleagues from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya University in Israel and the MIT Media Lab—have created the Tovbot company to commercialize Shimi, which they expect to be available in late 2013. They demonstrated their robot at the recent Google I/O 2012 conference in San Francisco. (Science Daily)(Georgia Tech)

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