(PhysOrg.com) -- A flute playing robot unveiled by Waseda University last year has been joined by a robot saxophonist in a Classical music duet. The aim of the project was to design robots that could respond to each other's visual and aural cues.
The researchers, Atsuo Takanishi and colleagues from Waseda University in Japan, want eventually to develop a robot capable of playing multiple instruments and interacting with human musicians in jazz-style improvisations.
The flutist robot was unveiled in mid 2008 after Professor Takanishi, of Waseda's engineering department had spend many years perfecting it. The saxophone player took much less time to develop but is much less android in appearance than the flute-playing robot. Professor Takanishi said the saxophone player was easier to develop because it is easier to get a sound from a reed instrument than it is from a flute.
Early in 2008 other research teams, with Honda and Toyota, unveiled a robot conductor, and a trumpet player. Professor Takanishi's ultimate goal is to create an entire robot orchestra, and the duet playing robots take him one step closer.
• Takanishi Lab page
• Waseda Flutist Robot page
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