Tetsuji Katsuda : Robot Band
Robot Band [ ★ ★ ]
In the tatami band, we make musical instruments with tatami mats and play them. Robots that play musical instruments are also members of the band.
Robot Band and Tatami Band
Kyoto, Japan
There are many cutting-edge technologies in Japan, but on the other hand, many traditional ones remain.

The same can be said for music.

What is going to be talked about is the story of two manufacturing experts, Tetsuji who develops robots as Mr. Geek and Kazuhiro who makes Tatami, a traditional Japanese rug as Mr. Craftsman.

Tatami is a traditional flooring material made of grass used in Japanese homes.

The tatami band led by Mr. Craftsman plays original songs on instruments made with Tatami.

The instruments of the tatami band are decorated with tatami mats that were produced by Mr. Craftsman.

The Tatami band perform at local festivals and events for children and the elderly.

In addition to musical instruments used in popular music such as guitars, basses, and drums, there are also traditional Japanese musical instruments such as shamisen, biwa, sho, and ryuteki.

Mr. Geek invented new musical instruments regardless of acoustic or electronic, which led him to join the tatami band and play.

He played musical instruments that he devised as a member of a tatami band.

However, the drummer was so busy that he often didn't appear on stage.

So Mr. Geek came up with the idea of creating a robot that plays drums.

The robot was named "Ko-san-kun" in the sense that the drum player "Woo-san-kun" became smaller.

After a while, Mr. Geek created the second robot for backup.

Then the two robots participated in various events, playing metallophones and drums, making soap bubbles, and having children experience operating in a flag-raising game.
At an event, a little girl looking at two robots asked, "Why aren't there any girl robots?"
With such a story Mr. Geek decided to make a red robot "Miss Tomato" and let her sing a song by voice synthesis.

After that, two more robots were added as robots of a size that can be easily carried to a party.

They were named "Chibi-san-kun", that means smaller and "Mame-san-kun" that means smallest , respectively.

The five robots form a band and then perform activities independent of the tatami band.
The robot band plays nursery rhymes that children in any country know, such as twinkle twinkle little stars and the London Bridge.

There is no need for difficult explanations about robots.

The music they play can be enjoyed by children from countries with different languages.

In the tatami band, tradition and the latest technology are fused .

Mr. Craftsman has been tataminized various things other than musical instruments.
And some tatami musical instruments include traditional Japanese musical instruments, which are rare in the world.

The tatami band has been performing all over Japan including world heritage sites.

They hold many workshops for children to make mini tatami mats at domestic events in Japan.

The tatami band has been invited by government agencies in South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia to perform locally and hold workshops by Mr. Craftsmen.

Similarly, the robot band has been performing in the United States, China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and Singapore, invited by advanced technology companies, education-related organizations, and universities.

What Mr. Geek and Mr. Craftsman have in common is that manufacturing and music that accompany creativity give children dreams around the world.
Side Story
The robot band consists of five robots.
In dark places, the LED of each robot glows beautifully.
Kosan Kun model 2 plays an electronic drums made of acrylic.
He plays high hat by his right hand and snare drum by his left hand.
The bus drum is played by the right foot.
Kosan-kun model 1 plays melodies with a metallophone.
Chibisan-kun plays accompaniments with a metallophone.
Two robots perform a chord by playing at the same time.
Miss Tomato sings songs by voice synthesis.
Mamesan-Kun rings bells.
All robots are connected to one computer.
A MIDI file is loaded into the dedicated software.
One of the MIDI channels is assigned to each robot.
For example, data of channel 1 is sent to Kosan-Kun model 1, and data of channel 2 is sent to Chibisan-kun.
When data is played back, commands for controlling the servomotors from dedicated software are sent to each robot through a serial cable.
The audio signals of the song are also sent to a voice synthesis device.
For Miss Tomato, commands to take the pose are sent instead of voice data.
The last year, exhibitions of the robot band were held in the United States, China and Taiwan as well as in Japan.
These events were introduced in the news of local TVs in Japan and China.
Exhibitions of the robot band were held in overseas as well as in Japan.
In 2016, the robot band performed in the USA, China,and Taiwan,
in 2017 and 2018 the robot band performed in the USA, China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, India and Indonesia.
These events were introduced in the news of TVs in Japan and China.
Awards
★ Lenore Edman : The Robot Band presentation was full of joy and excitement. I loved the creativity in both the robots and the tatami instruments. The rotating xylophone keys were ingenious, and I loved seeing the robots play along with the human musicians.
★ James Simpson : The live Zoom helped launch the event for my school.
Frequently Asked Questions
What inspired you to do this?
I like both music and robots.
How long did it take to make it?
On average, I make one robot a year.
Have you done other things like this?
Initially, I was creating battle robots.
Are there plans available to make this? Do you sell this?
Not for sale.
What’s next?
I will add more robots.
Tetsuji Katsuda : Maker & Composer
The maker Tetsuji Katsuda
Kyoto, Japan
I make robots that play musical instruments.

I make original musical instruments including electrical and acoustic.

I play musical instruments that I made.
Connect with Tetsuji Katsuda
How I can help you:
I can give knowledge of musical instrument production and automatic performance.
How you can help me:
Other people can give me knowledge of musical instrument production and automatic performance That I do not know yet.