Meet Shimi, a robot DJ that shuffles
Gone are the days of lying around in a haze listening to vinyl. In the future, some of us may rock out with robots to enjoy music.
The soundsmiths at Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology this week revealed Shimi, a 1-foot-tall musical robot that aims to serve as a musical assistant.
Created by center director Gil Weinberg, Shimi's dual-speaker visage bobs its "head" and taps its hand/foot to the beat of a song while a range of features become available after docking an Android smartphone. Weinberg co-developed Shimi in collaboration with the Media Innovation Lab at IDC Herzliya, led by professor Guy Hoffmann.
For example, the pint-size Shimi utilizes facial recognition through the front-facing camera of an Android phone to position its speakers toward the listener for optimal sound. A summary of the device from Georgia Tech mentions a unique song selection method: "If the user taps or claps a beat, Shimi analyzes it, scans the phone's musical library and immediately plays the song that best matches the suggestion."
Other compelling features coming to Shimi include gesture recognition for playback/volume control and the ability to recommend music based on the active song.
New start-up robotic toy company Tovbot announced plans to sell Shimi to consumers in 2013 for an undisclosed price. We spotted a conceptual image of the commercial version of Shimi on the Tovbot Web site. Attendees of the Google I/O conference in San Francisco can check out Shimi during the after-hours party at Moscone Center tonight.
Take a peek at Weinberg's previous robot named, an "autonomous, marimba-playing, octopus-armed hipster," according to fellow CNET writer Tim Hornyak.