The Flying Drum Machine

The Flying Drum Machine

We developed a quadrotor aerial vehicle that can be used as a musical instrument. Using the idea of interactions based on physical contact, a system is developed that enables humans to engage in artistic expression with a flying robot and produce music. The interactive quadrocopter was programmed to drive playback of drum sounds in real-time in response to physical interaction. An intuitive mapping was developed between machine movement and drum sounds.  The videos show a professional musician who used the interface to compose complex rhythm patterns.

 

Related Publication

A flying drum machine
X. Wang, N. Dalal, T. Laidlow, and A. P. Schoellig
Technical Report, 2015.
[View BibTeX] [View Abstract] [Download PDF] [View Video]
This paper proposes the use of a quadrotor aerial vehicle as a musical instrument. Using the idea of interactions based on physical contact, a system is developed that enables humans to engage in artistic expression with a flying robot and produce music. A robotic user interface that uses physical interactions was created for a quadcopter. The interactive quadcopter was then programmed to drive playback of drum sounds in real-time in response to physical interaction. An intuitive mapping was developed between machine movement and art/creative composition. Challenges arose in meeting realtime latency requirements mainly due to delays in input detection. They were overcome through the development of a quick input detection method, which relies on accurate yet fast digital filtering. Successful experiments were conducted with a professional musician who used the interface to compose complex rhythm patterns. A video accompanying this paper demonstrates his performance.

@TECHREPORT{wang-tr15,
author = {Xingbo Wang and Natasha Dalal and Tristan Laidlow and Angela P. Schoellig},
title = {A Flying Drum Machine},
year = {2015},
urlvideo={https://youtu.be/d5zG-BWB7lE?list=PLD6AAACCBFFE64AC5},
abstract = {This paper proposes the use of a quadrotor aerial vehicle as a musical instrument. Using the idea of interactions based on physical contact, a system is developed that enables humans to engage in artistic expression with a flying robot and produce music. A robotic user interface that uses physical interactions was created for a quadcopter. The interactive quadcopter was then programmed to drive playback of drum sounds in real-time in response to physical interaction. An intuitive mapping was developed between machine movement and art/creative composition. Challenges arose in meeting realtime latency requirements mainly due to delays in input detection. They were overcome through the development of a quick input detection method, which relies on accurate yet fast digital filtering. Successful experiments were conducted with a professional musician who used the interface to compose complex rhythm patterns. A video accompanying this paper demonstrates his performance.}
}

 

In the Media

University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies