Refining the flute sound production of the Waseda flutist robot the mechanical design of the artificial organs involved during the flute playing

Jorge Solis, Koichi Taniguchi, Takeshi Ninomiya, Tetsuro Yamamoto, Atsuo Takanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Up to now, different kinds of musical performance robots (MPRs) and robotic musicians (RMs) have been developed. MPRs are designed to closely reproduce the required motor skills displayed by humans (i.e. anthropomorphic robots) in order to play musical instruments. MPRs are then usually conceived as benchmarks to study the human motor control from an engineering point of view and to better understand the human-robot interaction from a musical stand point. In contrast, RMs are conceived as automated mechanisms designed for the creation of new ways of musical expression from the musical engineering perspective. Our research on the anthropomorphic flutist robot, at Waseda University, has been focused on clarifying the human motor control while playing the flute, proposing novel applications for humanoid robots and enabling the communication with humans at the emotional level of perception. In this paper, we are presenting the details of the development of the Waseda flutist robot No. 4 Refined IV (WF-4RIV). The WF-4RIV is composed by 41-DOFs that reproduce the anatomy and physiology of the organs involved during the flute playing. In particular, we describe the new mechanical design of the artificial organs; such as lips, tonguing, vibrato and lungs, which are related to the production of a clear sound. A set of experiments were proposed to verify the effectiveness of each of the mechanisms to imitate the human flute playing. From the experimental results, the WF-4RIV is able of producing clear sound with smoother transitions between notes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-540
Number of pages14
JournalMechanism and Machine Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar 1



  • Human-robot interaction
  • Humanoid robots
  • Music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this