Today’s goal: get my mind and yours off Robin Williams. A daunting task, but if anything’s up to it, it’s science and tech. But no aliens, not today. But how about a piano-playing robot? We’ve featured musically inclined robots before, like these headbangers, these Brooklyn hipsters, and this awesome Lego machine. But this robot’s approach to tunes is a bit different — it uses the shapes of clouds to dictate what it plays. That even sounds like something a real musician would do.
Artist David Bowen specializes in kinetic, robotic, and interactive sculpture. He’s made all kinds of awesome stuff, such as a revolver that follows the movement of houseflies and fires at them (it beats using chopsticks), and a device that uses leaves to collect and draw wind. “Cloud Piano” is a more elaborate version of an idea he debuted in a project called “Cloud Tweets” that converts video of clouds to the pressing of keys on a keyboard, up to 140 characters. Bowen is very interested in the union of nature and technology, and often invents devices and machines that either mimic or receive input from natural processes.