The swan robot´s just over four-minute-long dance has so far been seen only by a select few. But it has already made a big impression. Tearful eyes and words like "touching", "fascinating" and "beautiful" are some of the reactions.
- We want to explore the limits of what a robot can do, what human expressions it can mimic, and how it affects people's perception of the robot when it makes an appearance in art and dance, says Lars Asplund, Professor of Computer Science at Mälardalen University in Västerås, Sweden.
His research field is robotics and he has designed the approximately one-metre-tall dancing swan on the basis of a robot that was previously a student´s degree project. The robot was built by a modular system and in the white wings, neck, beak and feet there are a total of 19 different joints, which makes it very flexible.
The idea for the dancing robot was hatched jointly by Lars Asplund and his colleague Kerstin Gauffin, who works with theatre at Mälardalen University.
- With our swan we are showing that we can use robots in new ways – simply because they are beautiful and give the audience new experiences, says Kerstin Gauffin, who wants to see robots appear on stages along with "ordinary" actors.
She got in touch with the professional dancer and choreographer Åsa Unander-Scharin, who now has designed the robot's special dance to the tunes of the famous composer Tchaikovsky. By systematically having the robot swan perform each movement by itself – right wing up, neck down, etc – Unander-Scharin has "taught" the robot swan her choreography because the computer inside it "recalls" the movement pattern and then plays it as an entire dance program.
Åsa Unander-Scharin is used to working with stage performances in which the choreography interacts with music, scene space and new technology. She has also done research in the field and wrote the thesis "Human mechanics and soulful machines: choreographic perspectives on human qualities in body movement".
- I think it's exciting to see how emotionally touched people can get by machines, and to do the choreography for the swan robot has been great fun, says Åsa Unander-Scharin.
On September 23-26, Mälardalen University´s dancing robot will be shown for the first time in public, at Sweden's largest book fair in Gothenburg. It is hoped, obviously, that the swan robot will be a great success with the public.
For more information and to watch a video of the dancing robot swan please contact Professor Lars Asplund, phone +46-21-107036, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or information officer Lisa Nordenhem, phone +46-21-151720, e-mail: email@example.com
More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:
Stingray movement could inspire the next generation of submarines
14.11.2013 | University at Buffalo
An intersection of math and biology: Clams and snails inspire robotic diggers and crawlers
12.11.2013 | Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Quantum entanglement, a perplexing phenomenon of quantum mechanics that Albert Einstein once referred to as “spooky action at a distance,” could be even spookier than Einstein perceived.
Physicists at the University of Washington and Stony Brook University in New York believe the phenomenon might be intrinsically linked with wormholes, hypothetical features of space-time that in popular science fiction can provide a much-faster-than-light shortcut from one part of the universe to another.
But here’s the catch: One couldn’t actually ...
A star is formed when a large cloud of gas and dust condenses and eventually becomes so dense that it collapses into a ball of gas, where the pressure heats the matter, creating a glowing gas ball – a star is born.
New research from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, shows that a young, newly formed star in the Milky Way had such an explosive growth, that it was initially about 100 times brighter than it is now. The results are published in the scientific journal, Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The young ...
EPFL scientists have shown how to achieve a dramatic increase in the capacity of optical fibers; Their simple, innovative solution reduces the amount of space required between the pulses of light that transport data
Optical fibers carry data in the form of pulses of light over distances of thousands of miles at amazing speeds. They are one of the glories of modern telecommunications technology.
However, their capacity is limited, because the pulses of light need to be lined up one after the other in ...
NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel airborne mission known as HS3 wrapped up for the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season at the end of September, and had several highlights. HS3 will return to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.
During the 2013 mission, two unmanned Global Hawks flew from Wallops for the first time. The mission highlights included studying the Saharan Air Layer, following the genesis of a tropical storm, finding a unique hybrid core or center circulation in a redeveloped storm, obtaining measurements on the strongest side of ...
Nanosponges that soak up a dangerous pore-forming toxin produced by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) could serve as a safe and effective vaccine against this toxin.
This "nanosponge vaccine" enabled the immune systems of mice to block the adverse effects of the alpha-haemolysin toxin from MRSA—both within the bloodstream and on the skin. Nanoengineers from the University of California, San Diego described the safety and efficacy of this nanosponge vaccine in the December 1 issue of ...
04.12.2013 | Health and Medicine
04.12.2013 | Materials Sciences
04.12.2013 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
04.12.2013 | Event News
12.11.2013 | Event News
29.10.2013 | Event News