Feb 24, 2017

Robo Marimba

Here is something you do not see every day. It is a robot that plays music in relation to what human musicians are playing.

Shimon, engineer Guy Hoffman’s robot musician, does not play programmed music, it improvises in ensembles with human players, communicating with a expressive head and favoring musical ideas that are unlikely to be chosen by humans, so as to lead the performance in genuinely novel directions.

The robot combines computational modeling of music perception, interaction, and improvisation, with the capacity to produce melodic acoustic responses in physical and visual manners. Shimon has performed with human musicians in dozens of concerts and festivals from DLD in Munich Germany, the US Science Festival in Washington DC, the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle WA, and Google IO in San Francisco. Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology is Shimon’s patron.

Here is a three minute example of the pleasant outcome. LINK