Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has recently unveiled a robot capable of playing the violin and even of achieving vibrato. This innovative robot uses precise control and coordination to achieve human-like dexterity. Its hands and arms have 17 joints, which may enable the robot to carry out domestic and caretaking duties in addition to playing the violin.
Toyota Partner Robots specializes in advancing two types of technologies. One involves developing robots capable of playing musical instruments, by giving the robots artificial moving lips and hands and arms equipped with many joints for improved precision and control. The other involves further development of automobile driving control technologies in order to create new stabilizing technologies for robots.
Toyota is currently promoting the development of human-assisting partner robots in four main fields: domestic duties, nursing and medical care, manufacturing, and short-distance personal transportation. The violin-playing robot demonstrates achievements that can be applied in the fields of domestic duties and nursing and medical care.
Seth Goldstein’s Ro-Bow in action
Wish you hadn’t been so quick to give up violin practice as a kid? You may never get to turn back the clock, but retired engineer Seth Goldstein is showing that there’s still hope of reliving those musical ambitions through technology. He recently showed off Ro-Bow, a kinetic sculpture that uses robotic fingers (specifically, electromagnetic actuators) to play digital music files on a real violin. While the machine won’t have concert performers rethinking their careers, it’s probably better with a bow than you were way back when –
– it can handle a fast Irish jig as well as a slow, sentimental tune like “Amazing Grace.” The Ro-Bow hardware would have to shrink and get a bit of polish to be useful as more than an art project, of course. All the same, it’s proof that you don’t have to run a giant technology company to build a reasonably adept robotic musician.
I think we can all agree, this machine is really just the great-great-great-great-great robo grandfather of this guy right here