A Robotic Band With A Wiimote-Wielding Frontman

In what may be a precursor to the hippie/robot showdown we've always hoped for, musician Patrick Flanagan has created Jazari, a three-piece robotic drum circle capable of impressive arrangements. If that's not fun enough, it's all controlled by two Wiimotes.

Last week we looked at Marv, a robotic vibraphone that banged out an impressive rendition of "Flight of the Bumblebee." This week's robotunes come courtesy of an ensemble.

Flanagan wields two Wiimotes to control the rhythm, volume, and pitch of the three different drums. The D-pad controls which part of the drum is struck (and thus the sound it makes) while turning the Wiimote side to side controls the tempo of the notes and pointing it up and down controls the volume. Other buttons allow Flanagan to record loops on the fly and then manipulate those patterns live.

Flanagan's software even allows the other drums to analyse the grooves he's creating and improvise their own patterns, though he doesn't spend too much time talking about this capability. I think, as many frontmen do, he likes the control. [PopSci]

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