Shimon, the jazz robot able to improvise, now joins the names of famous jazz sidemen - Lucky Thompson, Slam Stewart, Teddy Wilson, Wardel Gray, Lennie Tristano - and now Shimon the robotic marimba player. Thanks to Guy Hoffman, a postdoc at the Georgia Institute of Technology Center for Music Technology.
The first human-robot interpretation of Duke Jordan’s classic jazz standard Jordu, for human piano and robot marimba.The robot Shimon’s playing is driven by its physical structure, through actively improvised variations on practiced gestures, listening and quietly watching the human play, and attempting to fill its part in the ensemble.
Listen to some highlights with notes in the following video.
(Shimon Improvisational Jazz Robot)
Hoffman’s main research interest is concerned with models and mechanisms that enable robots to act jointly with humans, especially through repetitive practice. Recent work includes anticipatory models for MDPs, a computational framework for perceptual priming, and an anticipatory perceptual simulation system enabling robots to perform more fluently and more efficiently with humans.