Tutorial: The Narrative Machine Meets Robots - Musical Interactions with Humanoids

The Narrative Machine Meets Robots - Musical Interactions with Humanoids a Tutorial
at 19th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots
Toronto, Canada - Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Call for Participants


The Narrative Machine is the result of this unique recycling experiment. A cross-disciplinary collaboration between School of Art Associate Professor and new media artist, Edgar Endress, and Dr. Daniel Lofaro from the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University. Their ongoing series of sound sculptures uses new media technology to give these discarded musical instruments a new life as art. In its final form The Narrative Machine will be a large installation with a series of single instruments activated by actuators and robots which will play together as an automatic orchestra. Using an open system, The Narrative Machine allows diverse inputs from diverse data sources, in effect transforming any given data set into a musical narrative.

The prototype takes inspiration from Gustav Klucis (1895–1938), a Russian Constructivist artist whose kiosks dotted the streets of Moscow following the Russian Revolution. The kiosks were groundbreaking examples of multimedia, integrating radio broadcasts, film screenings, and dynamic graphic displays for popular consumption. The Narrative Machine responds similarly to today’s technological revolution by harnessing the inspirational power of connection data to culture. The Narrative Machine has been displayed in places such as the IDB in Washington DC, been shown in newspapers like the Washington Post, and featured on WUSA9.

The goal of this workshop is to connect humanoid robots to the Narrative Machine ecosystem. Specifically this workshop/tutorial will provide hands on experience in making miniature humanoid robots play musical instruments. The participants will learn about how motion gestures, timing, latency, and other inherent parts of humanoids effects musical performance. In this workshop/tutorial the participants will program and physically modify a humanoid to allow it to play a real musical instrument with other robots. The final system will be then a part of the next instillation of the Narrative Machine. All robots and materials (except laptops for programming) will be provided.

Important Dates:

Information for Roboticists

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