Making Music With Poppy from Pierre Rouanet on Vimeo.

It can “learn” to tap its toe and bob its head. And then it can make sounds as you move its arms. It’s a robotic interface for music – a bit like playing with a very smart toy doll.

To show off its interactive/interfacing abilities, the team behind Poppy used music.

Poppy is a robot that can be produced with a 3D printer. All the hardware and software are fully open source. The idea – fused with cash from the EU’s European Research Council for funding science and creativity – is to help teach, as well as to empower engineers, scientists, and researchers. Apart from getting kids excited by being really cool, robotics are an excellent way to explore ideas in physical space, honing skills around logic as well as programming.

poppy_components

The combination of robotics and teaching has a long, proud history; look no further than the Logo programming language and the educational Turtle robot. See the founding pioneers of creative computing who led that effort, like roboticist and neuroscientist William Grey Walter, Wally Feurzeig, AI pioneer Seymour Papert, and notably Cynthia Solomon. Solomon helped create Logo, but also took that R&D to Apple and Atari, which brought it to the masses – I was a child of that effort, experiencing Logo for the first time on the Apple //e and going on to teach creative coding myself.

The juncture of science and computer science with music, though is an important one. It can make those concepts expressive and immediate.

This video could just be the beginning: the research team, led by France’s Dr. Clément Moulin-Frier, produced it after just a few hours in a code spring, plus the video. So, you could well build on this idea and do something better, given more time. In the meantime, I think it’s already more than reasonably fun.

You’ll find more details on the Poppy forum:
Poppy in a musical setup, please share your ideas

The same team created a Kinect-tracked robotic dance, which is oddly mesmerizing:

More on that effort, by dancer Marie-Aline and researcher/developer Jean-Marc Weber:
Artist residency: Êtres et Numérique

The European Commission has a release on the project in general (here printed in the English-language Prague Post):

Meet Poppy, the printable robot

An overview video covers how the whole rig works:

Poppy humanoid beta Overview from Poppy Project on Vimeo.

Here’s what assembly looks like:

Time lapse of Poppy humanoid's assembly from Poppy Project on Vimeo.

And printing goes something like this, as a hand is produced on a Makerbot Replicator. (Fun trivia: years ago, before founding Makerbot, now-celebrity Bre Pettis was one of the first presenters at CDM’s MusicMakers/Handmade Music event, showing off a cassette tape Mellotron built with Etsy’s Eric Beug. I think it even sort of worked. So, here, things come sort of full circle.)

Poppy's hand being 3Dprinted on a replicator 2 from Poppy Project on Vimeo.

You’re going to need access to a 3D printer, of course, to try this out, but if someone ventures into experimenting with Poppy, we’d love to hear about it.

  • foljs

    “””A Toe-Tapping, Dancing 3D-Printed Robot Plays Music”””

    The title could be much condenced. E.g. “Novelty, DIY gimmick”.

    • Sorry, I’ll put nearly 70 years of educational progress using robotics to teach logic and computer science (starting with the Turtle) up against your single dismissive comment. Particularly since this first proof of concept they whipped up in a matter of hours.

      I also note that you respond to the headline, but not any of the arguments I made in the article for why this is more than a novelty gimmick.

      • foljs

        “”” Particularly since this first proof of concept they whipped up in a matter of hours.”””

        Waiting for them to expand on it’s full musical potential then….

    • gunboat_d

      Can’t tell if troll or just lacking capability of higher level thought processes.

      Probably a bit of both.

  • foljs

    “””A Toe-Tapping, Dancing 3D-Printed Robot Plays Music”””

    The title could be much condenced. E.g. “Novelty, DIY gimmick”.

    • Sorry, I’ll put nearly 70 years of educational progress using robotics to teach logic and computer science (starting with the Turtle) up against your single dismissive comment. Particularly since this first proof of concept they whipped up in a matter of hours.

      I also note that you respond to the headline, but not any of the arguments I made in the article for why this is more than a novelty gimmick.

      • foljs

        “”” Particularly since this first proof of concept they whipped up in a matter of hours.”””

        Waiting for them to expand on it’s full musical potential then….

    • gunboat_d

      Can’t tell if troll or just lacking capability of higher level thought processes.

      Probably a bit of both.

  • foljs

    “””A Toe-Tapping, Dancing 3D-Printed Robot Plays Music”””

    The title could be much condenced. E.g. “Novelty, DIY gimmick”.

    • Sorry, I’ll put nearly 70 years of educational progress using robotics to teach logic and computer science (starting with the Turtle) up against your single dismissive comment. Particularly since this first proof of concept they whipped up in a matter of hours.

      I also note that you respond to the headline, but not any of the arguments I made in the article for why this is more than a novelty gimmick.

      • foljs

        “”” Particularly since this first proof of concept they whipped up in a matter of hours.”””

        Waiting for them to expand on it’s full musical potential then….

    • gunboat_d

      Can’t tell if troll or just lacking capability of higher level thought processes.

      Probably a bit of both.

  • Joe Hennessy

    No troll, the Headline was a bit of an oversell. I am looking forward to see this and other projects like it in the future. There is a lot of potential here.

  • Joe Hennessy

    No troll, the Headline was a bit of an oversell. I am looking forward to see this and other projects like it in the future. There is a lot of potential here.

  • Joe Hennessy

    No troll, the Headline was a bit of an oversell. I am looking forward to see this and other projects like it in the future. There is a lot of potential here.

  • Code Red

    These robot band goes a bit more crazy 😉

    http://youtu.be/QaCdl3MSkN8

  • Code Red

    These robot band goes a bit more crazy 😉

    http://youtu.be/QaCdl3MSkN8

  • Code Red

    These robot band goes a bit more crazy 😉

    http://youtu.be/QaCdl3MSkN8

  • jutt

    Hi,

    amazing! never seen before

    Please check out my website buy premium WordPress theme

    with kind regards,

    memoona