Chronicles of a Robotic Musical Companion

Bretan, Mason and Weinberg, Gil

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

As robots become more pervasive in the world we think about how this might influence the way in which people experience music. We introduce the concept of a "robotic musical companion" (RMC) in the form of Shimi, a smart-phone enabled five degree-of-freedom (DoF) robotic platform. We discuss experiences individuals tend to have with music as consumers and performers and explore how these experiences can be modified, aided, or improved by the inherent synergies between a human and robot. An overview of several applications developed for Shimi is provided. These applications place Shimi in various roles and enable human-robotic interactions (HRIs) that are highlighted by more personable social communications using natural language and other forms of communication.