GONE MADI FOR MUSIC
Ateam of three Ph.D. students constructed this 'multi-mallet automatic
drumming instrument (Madi).' Their Expressive Machines Musical
Instruments site (
www.expressivemachines.org) is dedicated to building
instruments like this and they recently showed their work at the first annual
Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. A 'low-stakes X Prize' for
musical instruments, 25 applicants were chosen to show their unique musical
instruments for $10K in prizes.
Madi pounds multiple brushes and sticks on a snare drum. At the same
time, its counterpart — Poly-Tangent Automatic Monochord (PAM)— plays
a stringed fretboard beside it. Together, PAM and Madi employ techniques
that would be impossible for a human musician to replicate.
Troy Rogers, Steven Kemper and Scott Barton compose for their mechanized instruments with the goal of exploring new
"temporal, timbral, dynamic and harmonic possibilities." (Yep, definitely Ph.D. students.) The spirited youths built the instruments
on their own dime, constructing Madi for a mere $200 in materials.
TALK TO THE CAN
This speech controlled garbage can
@N04/3410744807/) will come to you by
following a black line and stopping when it
sees a cross in the line. It then waits for
another voice command. It will return to
where it belongs or go outside following the
line. The system is based on a Microchip
PIC18F4431 and uses three 18 volt cordless
drill motors and their batteries as the power
Future plans are to replace the current
sensors with UV line sensors and the black
line will be replaced with clear UV color.
When you call the can "Pach Zevel"
(garbage can in Hebrew), the system goes into
standby and the LEDs light up. After that, if
you say "ELAY" (to me in Hebrew), it will
drive on the black line until the first crossing.
Kinda adds new meaning to taking out
INTO THE SEA
Underwater robots with tactile capability
can maintain offshore drilling rigs or
collect sediment samples.
This robot dives into the sea, swims
to a submerged cable, and carries out the
necessary repairs. The person controlling the robot, however, has the harder
part of the task. It’s pitch dark and the robot's lamp does not help much.
What's more, the current keeps pulling the robot away from where it
needs to be.
Hopefully, in the future, the robot can find its own way.A sensor
will endow it with a sense of touch and help it to detect its undersea
environment autonomously."One component in this tactile capability is a
strain gauge," says Marcus Maiwald, project manager at the Fraunhofer
Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Materials Research IFAM
in Bremen. Together with his Fraunhofer colleagues and staff at the German
Research Center for Artificial Intelligence DFKI, Bremen Laboratory, he has
developed the model of an underwater robot with a sense of touch."If the
robot encounters an obstacle, the strain gauge is distorted and the electrical
resistance changes. The special feature of our strain gauge is that it is not
glued but printed on — which means we can apply the sensor to curved
surfaces of the robot."
The single printed strip is just a few ten micrometers wide, i.e., about
half the width of a human hair. As a result, the strain gauges can be applied
close to each other and the robot can identify precisely where it is touching
an obstacle. The sensor is protected from the salt water by encapsulation.
To produce the strain gauges, the research scientists atomize a solution
with nanoparticles to create an aerosol.A software system guides the
aerosol stream to the right position. Focusing gas shrouds the beam and
ensures that it does not fan out.
40 SERVO 07.2009