Design and Realization of Drummer Robots to Perform a Mechanical Orchestra (pp. 103-124)
Authors: (Andrea Festini, Fabrizio Impinna, Lester D. Suarez Cabrera, Istituto Superiore Mario Boella, Italy and others)
Abstract: Since ancient times, music has been important to communicate in everyday life, and
a form of expression and art. During the last decades, thanks to the advances in robot
technology, the research in Musical Performance Robots (MPR) is aiming to better
understand human interaction with robots. Moreover the study of controlled robots can
help to understand how robots can transmit sensitive information to human partners and,
as a result, several examples of musical performance robots have been developed in the
world. Most of them are designed to show a high level of motor skills required to play
The present chapter describes the development of a drummer robot capable of
playing drums in sync with other robots and a human performer. The ―test rig‖ is an
orchestra composed by two robots directed by the artist which represents the ―orchestra
Mechanical structure, hardware architecture and software programming are
discussed, as well as the mechatronic approach and the modeling which are fundamental
to design this kind of systems. Furthermore, it must be pointed out the role played by the
artist, which is able to interact in real time with the control system, and how the system
model can be used as a virtual prototype by the same artist.
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