Piano-Playing Swarm Bots


People often think of composing music as something innately human, that requires the creativity and flexibility of a human mind. Well, that may be true for a while. But for now, robots can actively play music already.

This group of swarm robots (Khepera III) was built by the Georgia Robotics and Intelligence Systems (GRITS) Lab. They are currently researching robotics in terms of mobile robotics and coordination, and they’re exploring the concept of “group-based leader-follower control,” which focuses on the interactions between robot topology. In essence, it focuses on having robots wirelessly linked for information, where the “leader” passes on overall instructions for the respective “followers” and they detect the locations of the other follower robots in order to carry out a procedure.

This group of piano playing swarm bots are an example of this technique. This robot “music wall” essentially plays notes when the robots reach a point on the board that details a certain note and pitch. These robots have velocity, acceleration, and sensor range constraints, and the leader essentially drives its respective followers to use the lowest number of robots needed (with respect to the time necessary to reach each note and the constraints that come with this restriction) and the least distance. In this video, we see the robots playing notes in accordance to Beethoven’s Fur Elise, and we also see that when a song is slowed down, the robots have more time to move, and fewer robots are necessary. Altogether, this algorithm requires careful spatio-temporal calculations (how much time in relation to distance and speed, so that the robots can get to the location on time), and communication between robots of relative locations on the music wall.

Ultimately, these swarm robots and their ability to follow a central leader and communicate each other makes them a potential tool for any situation. Although they act as separate robots, they communicate as one organism, with much potential for robots “working together.”

This entry was posted in Videos and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Posted April 18, 2014 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    Howdy are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying
    to get started and create my own. Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>