Guitar Machine is a guitar loaded with a variety of robotic components. It negotiates between conventional ways of playing music with electromechanical extensions of the fingertips, either driven by software or by a musician directly. The control mechanism allows the musician to have a varying degree of agency over the overall musical direction. Interviews and discussions on open-ended experiments were conducted with music students and musicians. The outcome of this research includes new modes of playing the guitar given the robotic capabilities, and an understanding of how automation can be integrated into instrument-playing processes. The results present insights into how a human-machine hybrid system can increase the efficacy of training or exploration, without compromising human engagement with a task.
The Interactive Product Design Lab (IPDL) is a purpose-built lab designed to support both teaching and research by allowing students to investigate, explore, and experiment with an extensive array of new technologies. Central to this concept, the School of Industrial Design has placed a high priority on the need to foster and develop interdisciplinary, team-based collaboration with other educational and research units from across the campus, including the School of Interactive Computing, the School of Mechanical Engineering, the Graphics Visualization and Usability Lab (GVU), and the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA). The Interactive Product Design Lab was built in the summer of 2011 and opened in time for the 2011 fall semester.