Musical Robots: Assignment #5

Due: Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Note: You are allowed to work in pairs for this assignment, but no more than 2 people per group.

Your robot's sensors help it decide how to move and what to do next, but what else are they good for? Well, there are at least two reasons why it is interesting to use the sensors to control sound!
One aspect is sonification: the use of sound to convey information. The sensors give numerical data about the robot's surroundings, but numbers are tedious to read through. Can they be converted to audio such that by hearing it, we have a general idea of what the robot is sensing?
Another aspect is to think of your robot as a new musical instrument, or a new interface for manipulating sound. It may or may not be used in the same way as traditional instruments -- but as long as you know what to do to the robot in order to change the sound in a particular way, it is a kind of instrument!

So, turn your robot into a sound controller of either kind:

  1. Select an instrument from myro.chuck and set it up (connect to speakers, change any initial settings, etc.)
  2. Pick a set of robot sensors (such as lights, camera, IRs or obstacles) and map them to specific parameters of your chosen instrument. In other words, the values given by the sensor should determine how the myro.chuck instrument sounds.
  3. Demonstrate your work in class.

You are encouraged to be creative with this. The one other rule is that your program should check the sensors and update the instrument sound on an ongoing basis. Checking the sensors once and then having the myro.chuck instrument follow its own agenda for the rest of the time won't fulfill this assignment.