Georgia Tech researchers have created Shimi, a musical robot companion. The robot is billed as an interactive "musical buddy." It can recommend songs and dance to the beat of music.
The robot is essentially an intelligent docking station. Once connected to an Android phone, Shimi can follow a listener around the room and position its "ears," or speakers, for optimal sound. It does this using the phone's camera and face-detecting software. Future apps in the works for Shimi will allow the user to shake their head in disagreement or wave a hand in the air to alert Shimi to skip to the next song or increase/decrease the volume. Take a look:
Shimi creator Professor Gil Weinberg, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology, has founded a start-up company, named Tovbot. Plans are for the robot to be available to consumers by the 2013 holiday season.
Weinberg says, "If robots are going to arrive in homes, we think that they will be these kind of machines - small, entertaining and fun. They will enhance your life and pave the way for more sophisticated service robots in our lives."