Researchers at Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology have injected a little fun into robotics with their newest creation. Their one-foot-tall 'Shimi' robot is a smart-phone enabled DJ that gets into the music with you.
True to its name, Shimi dances to the beat. Docking your iPhone or Android into the robot allows it access to your music library, where it can pick the music to pump up your party. Shimi can read body language, so all you have to do to let it know you don't like a song is shake your head in front of it.
Shimi creator Professor Gil Weinberg, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology, has founded a start-up company, named Tovbot. Plans are for the robot to be available to consumers by the 2013 holiday season.
If a user taps of claps a beat,v Shimi analyzes it, scans the phone's musical library and immediately plays the song that best matches the suggestion. Once the music starts, Shimi dances to the rhythm.
The robot's 'eyes' can also follow people round a room and ensure that speakers are aimed at them.
Shimi, a musical companion developed by Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology, recommends songs, dances to the beat and keeps the music pumping based on listener feedback.
Shimi is essentially a docking station with a ‘brain’ powered by an Android phone. Once docked, the robot gains the sensing and musical generation capabilities of the user's mobile device. In other words, if there's an ‘app for that,’ Shimi is ready.
For instance, by using the phone's camera and face-detecting software, the bot can follow a listener around the room and position its ‘ears,’ or speakers, for optimal sound.
[...] It's about time engineers built a robot "with the intention to party," says Lee Rannals at RedOrbit. "A dancing robot that follows you around is pretty cool," says Elise Moreau at Slashgear, "but it looks like Shimi still has a bit of growing up to do." Call me when they've built apps that let you shake your head or wave your hand to get the bot to skip lousy songs. Well, "I'm not a huge fan of desktop toys that flap around," says Technabob. But there's something endearing about watching a little robotic DJ "get its groove on to your music." See for yourself: