Georgia Tech Public Service Announcement Hits Right Note

Creativity, innovation and the interaction between Georgia Tech fourth-year College of Architecture student Caity Jiminez  and Shimon, an improvisational robotic marimba player created by researchers in the Center for Music Technology, take center stage in Institute’s latest public service announcement (PSA).

PSA Fall 2010 Photo 2
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Creativity, innovation and the interaction between Georgia Tech fourth-year College of Architecture student Caity Jiminez  and Shimon, a robotic marimba player created by researchers in the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, take center stage in the Institute’s 2010 public service announcement (PSA).

Georgia Tech’s Communication & Marketing team’s goal was to replicate the success of last year’s PSA spot that won a regional Emmy and to identify an idea that epitomizes Georgia Tech’s legendary heritage and limitless future.

The PSA begins with a close up of one of Shimon’s impressive robotic arms striking the marimba and then transitions to a shot of Jiminez striking her drums.  The two then interact in a “dueling banjos” format, culminating with the familiar Ramblin’ Wreck song, a familiar tune for all of the Georgia Tech community.

Shimon was developed by a team of researchers led by Gil Weinberg, director of the Center for Music Technology with the support of the National Science Foundation.

“Shimon is designed to create meaningful and inspiring musical interactions with humans, leading to novel music experiences and outcomes,” said Weinberg.  “The goal of the project is to create real-time musical collaborations between human and robotic musicians that would capitalize on the combination of their unique strengths.”

According to Weinberg these strengths are emotions and expressivity on the human side and the processing power and mechanical skill of the robot.

Jimenez said she’s always loved Georgia Tech and has played the drums since a very early age.

“I began playing the drum set when I was around six year’s old,” said Jiminez, who is in her third year of being on Georgia Tech’s drum line.  “I really enjoyed being a part of the PSA.  The work environment was a blast, and by the end of the day, almost everyone had learned to twirl a drum stick.”

 Jimenez, an Architecture major, recently received her LEED Accreditation and hopes to use it to decrease the waste that is typically associated with construction.

The PSA will air during Georgia Tech’s televised football and basketball games and additional information can be found on the PSA website.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.