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HeliphonThe goal of Ensemble Robot is to bring together the "often-independent" artist and engineer communities to make a new generation of music.
One of their creations is the Heliphon, a double-helix shaped robotic metallophone, built in 2004 by Leila Hasan, Alexandra Andriessen and Giles Hall. It uses solenoids to hammer metal keys, and each key lights up as it plays. Here's a photo gallery from the group's Jan. 25 concert at the Boston Museum of Science.
The Blobot is a dancing and pipe-playing robotic tetrahedron made of air cylinders, designed and built by Andy Cavatorta in 2005-'06.
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 an 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 string. It was designed by Christine Southworth, Yu-Cheng Hsu and Jeff Lieberman, and built in 2005-'06 by Ensemble Robot.