If you think that only human beings can compose and play music, then you surely have to give a second thought on this. Wilfried Stoll and a team from Festo, an engineering firm in Germany have created a new installation which is called the Sound Machines 2.0. It is intelligent and robot controlled system comprising of five musical instruments which are self playing. The performed melody is recorded which is used to create new piece of melody and perform it live.
The individual robots are networked by means of suitable control algorithms, communication interfaces and mathematical models and can listen to each other. This project combines extreme technical precision with artistic freedom. The instruments react to every melody which is performed in accordance with prearranged compositional rules. This gives rise to new variations always, which is different from the real theme whilst retaining the spirit of the composition.
The five musical instruments- two violins, a viola, a double bass and a cello are freely suspended in order to ensure high quality of sound. They instruments function like authentic stringed instruments but the only difference is that they each have just one string. First of all, a musician plays a melody on a xylophone or a MIDI piano, on the basis of which the system begins to improvise separately. The string is set to vibrate when the hammer is moved by a pneumatic cylinder.
The system is designed to show that how can a system, manually powered can be replaced by independent robots. So, in near future if you visit any disco or a pub, don’t get surprised if the console is being player by a robotic DJ.