AI News, Watch Georgia Tech's Musical Robots Evolve Into Shimi the Robot DJ

Watch Georgia Tech's Musical Robots Evolve Into Shimi the Robot DJ

It's always fun when we get to follow a robot as it evolves in a research lab somewhere and then finally makes it out into The Real World.™ Shimi, who we first met at Google I/O back in June, has a lineage at Georgia Tech stretching back many years, so I thought it would be kind of cool to take a look at some of the research that went in to making this robotic DJ (which, by the way, is now on Kickstarter).

This first one, from 2008, showsHaile, a robotic drummer that can detects the beats played by a human (sounds like a familiar feature, right?), along with the coincidentally named Shimon, a robotic marimba player that can improvise based on the analyzed scale played by as human piano player.

SHIMI is an innovative solution to a pressing community need for individuals who are living with mental illness and in need of supportive housing options.

The project provides high quality, secure and independent housing together with a range of responsive supports to adults living with, and recovering from, a mental illness.

They are often shunned because of the visible signs of poverty, the presentation of symptoms, and the general misconceptions that many have about mental illness (propensity to violence, irrational actions and or beliefs, criminal intent associated with drug use, etc).

Individuals living with or recovering from mental illness frequently experience housing insecurity (couch surfing), substandard accommodations, low income and social exclusion.

There is now a considerable body of research to support the advantages of, and the need for, community-based support for individuals living with mental illness.  Full partnership, respectful communication, autonomy, choice and stable, decent and flexible housing are the cornerstones of this approach.

Community support options provide persons living with mental illness the possibility of choice and the ability to exercise these choices — thereby creating as independent a lifestyle as practical, building self-confidence, empowerment and ontological security — in turn reduces the negative impacts of mental illness on the individual, family, friends and the community as a whole.

The housing is secure both in the physical sense and in the financial sense: Physical Security: the apartments and buildings are finished to a mid-market standard and professional property management ensures that the rent is collected, the bills paid and quality standards are maintained.Financial Security: all shelter costs (rent, heat, power, water) are included for a rent of $535 per month.

Fixing the rent at the maximum shelter component ensures that the balance of an individual’s income can be used for food, clothing, transportation, etc.Furnishings: through the generosity of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia and the Cape Breton Mental Health Foundation, each new apartment is furnished with a full suite of furniture and appliances, including a washer and dryer.

But while the main issue being addressed is homelessness, underlying this is the acknowledgement and understanding of the struggles of living with a mental illness and the impact it has on sustaining and maintaining decent housing.

Martin has been provided with a newly constructed apartment at a cost that will not affect the remainder of his monthly budget, meaning he doesn’t have to tap into grocery money to pay his rent or his utilities.