Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a robot called Simon that can write songs, play music and sing. The xylophone-playing robot is touring to support his new album, which he wrote and sang. The album will have 8 to 10 songs, written by Simon in collaboration with Humans, who first give the robot a theme, and then Shimon will write lyrics around the theme.
Robots can also produce melodies for researcher Jill Weinberg to compose. When the robot sings, a human band will play songs with Simon. The researchers working on the project trained the robot using a set of 50,000 lyrics from jazz, rock and hip-hop genres. The robot uses deep learning to generate lyrics that correspond to a given topic in the dataset.
Simon uses new hardware to improve performance and movement on stage. The robot is mostly still, but the mouth, eyebrows and head movements are constantly changing to convey emotion and interact with band members. The upgraded hardware allows the robot to play much faster than before, ranging from 25 to 30 Hz. It also plays soft, dynamic range of powerful music.