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MORTIMER: The drumming robot!

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Published on Dec 31, 2014

Meet Mortimer, the drumming robot who is transforming the way humans and robots interact.

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Louis McCallum from Queen Mary University of London built Mortimer to investigate the way people engage with robots. As machines become more and more integrated in everyday life researchers are looking into our relationships with them. Through the magic of music and science, Mortimer is trying to engage with musicians in a new way. Social activities like playing music are inherently human experiences. Trying to approximate these can help to build long term relationships and increase people’s comfort with robots. The research is investigating how subtle changes like facial expressions and head tilts can have a surprising impact on how people engage with a machine.

Find out more about Louis' work here: http://www.louismccallum.com

Mortimer stars in the final instalment of the 2014 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, 'Sparks will fly: How to hack your home'. Watch the lecture on December 31 2014 on BBC Four, or see if on the Ri Channel from early 2015: http://richannel.org/christmas-lectures

Sparks will fly: How to hack your home
A revolution is happening. Across the world people are taking control of the devices we use every day, customising them, creating new things and using the sparks of their imagination to change the world. Now it’s your turn, and you can start with the things you have around you.

Electrical and electronics engineer, Prof Danielle George will take three great British inventions - a light bulb, a telephone and a motor - and show you how to adapt them and transform them to do extraordinary things. This is tinkering for the 21st century, using the full array of cutting edge devices that we can lay our hands on: 3D printers, new materials, online collaboration and controlling devices through coding.
Inspired by the great inventors and standing on the shoulders of thousands of people playing at their kitchen table or in their shed, Danielle will announce the new rules of invention and show you how to use modern tools and technologies and things from your home to have fun and make a difference to the world around you.

LECTURE THREE: A new revolution
Inspired by the Royal Institution’s very own Michael Faraday, Prof Danielle George attempts to use simple motors to construct the world’s greatest robot orchestra.
When Michael Faraday demonstrated the first electric motor in 1822, he could never have dreamed that in 2014 we’d be surrounded by mechanical devices capable of performing nearly every human task. In this lecture, Danielle will explain how these robotic and motor-driven appliances work and show how they can adapted to help you kick start a technological revolution. She’ll show you how to turn a washing machine into a wind turbine, how Lego can solve a Rubik’s Cube and how the next Mars rover will traverse an alien world.

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