Improvement of the oral cavity and finger mechanisms and implementation of a Pressure-Pitch Control System for the Waseda Saxophonist Robot
ABSTRACT Our research is related to the development of an anthropomorphic saxophonist robot which reproduced the human organs involved during the saxophone playing. This research approach aims in understanding the human motor control from an engineering point of view and enabling the communication between humans and robots in musical terms. In a previous research, we have presented the Waseda Saxophonist Robot No. 2 (WAS-2) which improved the design of the lip and finger mechanisms. In addition, a feed-forward air pressure with dead-time compensation and an overblowing correction controller were implemented. However, the range of pressure was too limited to reproduce dynamic effects of the sound (i.e. decrescendo, etc.), a delay on the response of the finger mechanism was detected (due to the use of a wire-driven mechanism) and deviations on the pitch during the saxophone playing were observed. Therefore; in this paper, we present the Waseda Saxophonist Robot No. 2 Refined (WAS-2R). In particular the shape of the oral cavity has been re-designed to increase the sound pressure range and potentiometers were embedded on the fingers to reduce the dynamic delay response of the wire-driven mechanism. In addition, a Pressure-Pitch Controller has been implemented to reduce the deviation of the sound pitch by implementing a feedback error learning algorithm for a Multiple-Input Multiple-Output system. A set of experiments were proposed to verify the effectiveness of the re-designed mechanisms and the improved control strategy. From the experimental results, we could confirm the improvements to extend the sound pressure range to reproduce the decrescendo effect, to reduce the response delay from the finger mechanism as well as the deviations on the sound pitch.