THE WHIRLYBOT, aka the ROBOCOPTER, is our newest robot, designed and built by Andy Cavatorta, Erik Nugent, and Bill Tremblay, in 2006. With seven tuned whirlies spinning at different speeds controlled by MIDI, the Whirlybot has a range of 2 octaves and sounds like a chorus of voices.
Watch video of the Whirlybot.
is a dancing and pipe-playing robotic tetrahedron made of air cylinders, designed and built by Andy Cavatorta in 2005-06.
View video of the Blobot under construction.
is a robotic time-keeper, built in 2005 by Leila Hasan. It also uses solenoids to hit, in this case,
a drummer's beatblock.
THE BOT(I)CELLO is a tree-shaped electric string robot that
uses fans to pluck strings of changing lengths. It has three arms, each holding a electric guitar string on one end. The arms curl in and out like the petals
of a flower, and as they move they change the pitch of the guitar string. It was designed by Christine Southworth, Yu-Cheng Hsu, and Jeff Lieberman, and built
in 2005-06 by Ensemble Robot.
see the Bot(i)Cello in action!
For millennia humans have been manipulating objects to create
patterns of sound. We now call this music, and our universal
fascination with it over this time has prompted the appearance
and continual growth of an incredibly large, diverse and intricate
collection of methods for physically creating, arranging and
layering sound waves in ways that please and provoke. Starting
first with our own voices, we have evolved through hitting simple
percussive instruments with a hand or stick to mastering complex
acoustic systems, such as pianos, cellos or clarinets. This extended
period of development has given these methods time to become
both widespread and refined.
Over the past half-century
and especially in the last two decades there has been an extensive
and exciting shift
in the focus of
much experimental music research toward the use of electronics
and computers. Unfortunately, in embracing the electronic
medium, musicians have deserted the diversified collection
acoustic sources and associated techniques that have emerged
over millennia of human music making. These sources have
been replaced by a universal sound wave constructor: the speaker.
In this process of change, experimental electronic musicians
have lost the rich natural textures and animated spectacle
intrinsic in a live acoustic performance.
aims to help forge the missing link between the accumulated
and time-tested body of techniques
of traditional acoustic musical mediums and the
striking potential of current electronic musical control
systems. Through intricate
computer controlled sequencing and synchronization
of robotic movements, “Ensemble Robot” will produce
both simple and complex patterns of sound from a variety
inspired acoustic sources. These sound sources
include strings, pipes, drums and wooden keys. In this way, the
create sounds that diverge from the usual clanking
and banging people generally would connect with “robot
importantly shall also steer clear of attempts
to imitate humans. The resultant music will appear
at various times to the audience
both familiar and surprising, simultaneously
mining the archive of substantiated instrument
architectures and musical methods
available to us today, as well as progressively
pushing the boundaries beyond what has ever been
explored or possible before.
With "Ensemble Robot," we aspire not only to produce uniquely beautiful and intriguing music for a multitude of audiences in the New England region, but additionally to instruct and inspire would-be artists and engineers at schools, museums and other public forums throughout the Boston and greater New England area. We believe that "Ensemble Robot" will serve to bring together the often-independent artist and engineer communities and stimulate cross-discipline dialogue.
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Ensemble Robot, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
All images, video and sound ©2003-2010 by
Ensemble Robot. All rights reserved.
For permission to download or reproduce any image, video or sound clip on this site, please contact Ensemble Robot.
Website by Christine Southworth.
special thanks to the LEF Foundation for
their generosity and support!