Note: The software project is currently not in development. It isn’t realistic enough to be actually useful. Since August 2014 the founder has been working at the Oxford University Mobile Robotics Group.
Queue up a list of your favourite songs and sit back while your own robot pianist performs them for you. MIDI files, mostly free, can be downloaded from elsewhere for a huge number of popular and classical pieces and this pianist can play them all.
The AI decides what fingerings to use and what body (finger, hand, arm and torso) motions to use to play it. There is no motion capture or key-framed animation involved as in almost all other computer animations; it depends on general purpose robotics motion planning techniques (inverse kinematics (Levenberg-Marquardt, SVD), motion planning search algorithms, continuous collision detection…).
Part of the robot’s AI is a search algorithm that automatically generates fingerings for the raw note data in the MIDI file. This could be useful for a pianist who wants optimised fingerings automatically generated for a piece they wish to learn.
All of the motions are generated in real time on a typical home PC, which is difficult due to the very large number of values that the robot’s degrees of freedom can possibly have at any instant.
MIDI Digits Pianist currently runs on Windows (32-bit or 64-bit) from XP onwards. It requires 2GB of RAM. It has received Microsoft certification and is listed in the Windows 8 Store.
The software depends primarily on four high quality open source libraries: Qt, OGRE, Bullet, Orocos KDL.
You can download and install the software for free. It will run in trial mode until provided with a license key. In trial mode the software is functionally complete except that each MIDI file has its playback limited to 30 seconds.
The software is currently not purchasable. Existing license keys will still work.