Piano-playing robot to play tunes during student’s thesis defence

Instead of a several pages’ long regular thesis, Wojciech Świtała of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automatics, Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering is about to demonstrate a robot programmed by him. The robot known by the name of Staszek can play any piece of music on the piano.

In fulfillment of requirements for a degree, Wojciech Świtała, an automation engineering and robotics student, has programmed an industrial robot Mitsubishi RV-2F-D in a way that will enable it to play a musical instrument. The concept underlying this extraordinary degree project is rooted in the student’s personal interests. As he had completed secondary-level music education, Wojciech decided to combine his two passions – music and robotics. As he put it: the robot has an enormous potential – it can play any piece of music.

Staszek the Robot is connected to a computer running a dedicated programme written by Wojciech to support it. By clicking the mouse on particular keys, Wojciech can play the instrument using the robot. Moreover, Staszek can store in its memory any tune played, which – once saved in a file – can be played back by the machine at any time. The programme also enables the robot to play with two fingers, hit a cymbal and even take a bow. The playing tip has been printed in 3D technology.

The duo – Wojciech and Staszek – performing the traditional Polish carol ‘Lullaby to Baby Jesus’ has already gained considerable social media popularity. The clip can be viewed through the official fanpage of the University as well as the University’s YouTube channel

Staszek the Pianist has recently captured the attention of foreign media. The article on our student and his talented robot can now be found on the website of one of the largest British radio stations playing classical music: Classic FM (http://www.classicfm.com/music-news/videos/robot-pianist/).