- FASHION & WEARABLES
- INTERNET OF THINGS
- PRODUCT DESIGN
- 3D PRINTING
- 3D SCANNING
- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
- KIDS & EDUCATION
- OPEN SOURCE
- MUSIC & SOUND
- ARTISANS & NEW CRAFT
- RECYCLING & UPCYCLING
- STEAM PUNK
- YOUNG MAKERS (< 18)
- FOOD & AGRICULTURE
- CIRCULAR ECONOMY
- HOME AUTOMATION
- NEW MANUFACTURING
- WELLNESS & HEALTHCARE
- ENERGY & SUSTAINABILITY
- INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION
- CULTURAL HERITAGE
- VIRTUAL REALITY
Musical Robots and Tatami Instrument
There are many cutting-edge technologies in Japan, but on the other hand, many traditional ones remain.
The same can be said for music.
In this project, there are two key persons, Tetsuji who develops robots as Mr. Geek and Kazuhiro who makes Tatami, a traditional Japanese rug as Mr. Craftsman.
This project is combination of musical robots and original musical instruments made with Tatami.
Tatami is a traditional flooring material made of grass used in Japanese homes.
The tatami band led by Mr. Craftsman plays original songs on instruments made with Tatami.
The instruments of the tatami band are decorated with tatami mats that were produced by Mr. Craftsman.
The Tatami band perform at local festivals and events for children and the elderly.
In addition to musical instruments used in popular music such as guitars, basses, and drums, there are also traditional Japanese musical instruments such as shamisen, biwa, sho, and ryuteki.
The robot band consists of five humanoid robots, from 40 cm to 80 cm of height. Four of them play an electronic drums, two metallophones,and bells. (The unique drum set is made of acrylic.) One of them is a singer with voice synthesis.
Mr. Geek invented new musical instruments regardless of acoustic or electronic, which led him to join the tatami band and play.
He played musical instruments that he devised as a member of a tatami band.
However, the drummer was so busy that he often didn't appear on stage.
So Mr. Geek came up with the idea of creating a robot that plays drums.
The robot was named "Ko-san-kun" in the sense that the drum player "Woo-san-kun" became smaller.
After a while, Mr. Geek created the second robot for backup.
Then the two robots participated in various events, playing metallophones and drums, making soap bubbles, and having children experience operating in a flag-raising game.
At an event, a little girl looking at two robots asked, "Why aren't there any girl robots?"
With such a story Mr. Geek decided to make a red robot "Miss Tomato" and let her sing a song by voice synthesis.
After that, two more robots were added as robots of a size that can be easily carried to a party.
They were named "Chibi-san-kun", that means smaller and "Mame-san-kun" that means smallest , respectively.
The five robots form a band and then perform activities independent of the tatami band.
The robot band plays nursery rhymes that children in any country know, such as twinkle twinkle little stars and the London Bridge.
There is no need for difficult explanations about robots.
The music they play can be enjoyed by children from countries with different languages.
In the tatami band, tradition and the latest technology are fused .
Mr. Craftsman has been tataminized various things other than musical instruments.
And some tatami musical instruments include traditional Japanese musical instruments, which are rare in the world.
The tatami band has been performing all over Japan including world heritage sites.
They hold many workshops for children to make mini tatami mats at domestic events in Japan.
The tatami band has been invited by government agencies in South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia to perform locally and hold workshops by Mr. Craftsmen.
Similarly, the robot band has been performing in the United States, China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia,and Singapore, inviteted by advanced technology companies, education-related organizations, and universities.
What Mr. Geek and Mr. Craftsman have in common is that manufacturing and music that accompany creativity give children dreams around the world.
Tetsuji Katsuda is a professional engineer for musical software also motor and Sensors. Living in Kyoto, Japan and makes robots, original electric musical instruments, and art works as hobbies.