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Photos: Robots play a new sound of music

The goal of Ensemble Root is to bring artists and engineers together to develop sweet music.
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1 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Heliphon

The 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.

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2 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Blobot

The Blobot is a dancing and pipe-playing robotic tetrahedron made of air cylinders, designed and built by Andy Cavatorta in 2005-'06.

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3 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Bot(i)cello

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.

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4 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

the team

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.

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5 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Ensemble Robot

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.

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