Swarm Robots for Music: Simulation

Following the ideas based on Particle System, and then having experimented with flocking algorithms in Space Battle, I decided to try and create music using swarms.  I wanted to design the program thinking as if these things were real robots, so I can’t do things like the teleporting particles I made earlier.  Additionally, I did not want to stick to the mapping of position data to the music; while I did get a lot of mileage out of it, I wanted to go with a sequencer approach so that I could pay more attention to rhythm and meter.  I wanted to focus on the important parameters of the swarm and see what music can result from that.  Probably the most interesting parameter I have used is the number of neighbors that a single bot has.   With this alone I’ve been able to make music that takes on polyrhythmic textures.  There will be code, pics and video soon to follow.

Requirements: JMSL.  Unfortunately JMSL is not free, though you can use a temporary license that will last for 30 days (the student license costs 60 dollars).  I decided to use JMSL because it allowed me precise timing, to ensure that the bots play through each of their sequences properly.   This will be a hard thing to do in a hardware setting, but it is a requirement if we want our swarm to play more interesting music than things that shift in and out of phase.

Movie 2 — without watermark

Vimeo Page:  http://vimeo.com/26881322

Another example  :