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Photos: NICTA robot plays the clarinet

Australian ICT research centre NICTA has teamed up with a robotics group from the University of NSW (UNSW) to build a robot that plays the clarinet, demonstrating new applications of embedded systems.
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Topic: Legal
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1 of 4 Alex Serpo/ZDNet

The combined NICTA and UNSW project, led by NICTA's Dr John Judge, developed the clarinet playing robot in over eight months.

The clarinet works without an attached PC, demonstrating versatility of embedded systems. The human interface is achieved via USB attached keyboard, LCD screen and LEDs. NICTA estimates that around 98 per cent of computing devices are now embedded, with systems getting smaller and smarter each day.

Photos courtesy of NICTA

A video of the robot can be seen here.

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2 of 4 Alex Serpo/ZDNet

The robotic clarinet won an international technology award, the ARTEMIS Orchestra competition in Athens.

According to Dr Judge, his team won first place due to the high level of technical difficulty in the design of its robot "mouth", and the device's unique, completely embedded computer system.

Seen in this picture are UNSW students Mark Sheahan and Jean Geoffroy.

A video of the robot can be seen here.

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3 of 4 Alex Serpo/ZDNet

Force is applied to the clarinet keys by brass plungers with rubber or nylon feet depending on the key. "It is conceivable that in the near future, we could see an entire orchestra made up of computer-driven instruments like this clarinet," said NICTA chief technology officer Dr Chris Nicol, "They will interpret a musical score and follow a conductor."

A video of the robot can be seen here.

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4 of 4 Alex Serpo/ZDNet

The team that built the clarinet, from left to right: Jean Geoffroy (student, UNSW School of Physics), Professor Joe Wolfe (UNSW School of Physics), Mark Sheahan (UNSW student sponsored by NICTA on this project) and Dr John Judge (Project Leader, NICTA).

A video of the robot can be seen here.

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