Adaptive theremin keeps jamming robots in tune

Getting robots and humans to jam together is a useful exercise in artificial intelligence, because the robot has to generate notes that sound nice alongside the tune the human is playing – all in real time. But if the robot just happens to be playing the theremin, which doeshappen occasionally, humans can cause problems by invading the instrument’s space – it makes the robot play out of tune.

To the rescue (phew!) comes Takeshi Mizumoto at Kyoto University in Japan. He showed a conference on applied intelligent systems in Dalian, China, this week a theremin able to cope with such incursions – as you can see in the video above. “The robot plays the correct pitch even if a guitarist comes closer to the theremin in a jam session,” he says. His trick is an adaptive pitch-control algorithm that tracks the tune the robot plays and attempts to stop the pitch diverging when the human interrupts it.

Luckily, it’s not just useful for keeping theremin-playing robots in tune. He says the algorithm, which currently reduces unmelodious errors by 90 per cent, will have practical uses when refined further – in allowing robots to track human faces in video footage.


Blowfish12@2012 blowfish12.tk Author: Sudharsun. P. R. Source: NewScientist

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3 thoughts on “Adaptive theremin keeps jamming robots in tune

  1. Pingback: Question for the day: 15-06-2012 | Blowfish12

  2. Pingback: Quote for the day: 15-06-2012 | Blowfish12

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