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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.
Andy Cavatorta, center, is the designer and builder of Ensemble Robot's Blobot, a dancing and pipe-playing robot. Giles Hall, right, is the chief programmer for Ensemble Robot. He does the programming for all their robots. The other member of the team is Christine Southworth who assisted in the design of the Bot(i)cello.
Ensemble Robot aims to add a new dimension to the body of traditional acoustic musical mediums by tapping the potential of current electronic musical control systems. Here's a closer look at the Bot(i)cello.