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NBC’S Today Show Jams with Georgia Tech Robots in New York City

Georgia Tech’s robotic musicians perform for the first time on live television


WEBWIRE
Shimi and Shimon take the spotlight on a Today Show segment about the future of music technology with hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie.
Shimi and Shimon take the spotlight on a Today Show segment about the future of music technology with hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie.

Professor Gil Weinberg, Ph.D. student Mason Bretan, and four robots from Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology were featured in studio on NBC’s Today Show on Friday, May 15.

They jammed with hosts Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, and Al Roker during a segment on future technology.

The broadcast also included two musicians who played on campus during February’s Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition.

Watch the Today Show clip

Weinberg’s band included Shimon, an improvising, marimba-playing robot, and three Shimi machines, which danced to the beats.

The machines have received extensive press coverage in recent years, but this was their first time performing together with humans on a live, national broadcast.

“It’s thrilling to see the excitement that people have for our creative robots,” said Weinberg, whose research focuses on ways that machines can play with and inspire humans.

“If a robot can come up with something new, it can inspire me to think about music in a different way. It may also play it in a way that I would have never done so with other people.”

The Guthman competition instruments on the broadcast were Ed Potokar’s Magnetic Percussion Tower, and Jonathan Sparks’ Nomis device. Both won awards during the Guthman competition.
 


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