Travis is a robotic speaker dock and music listening companion. This robot doesn’t just play your music, it experiences it with the human listener, blurring the line between hi-fi and robotic companionship. Although it does not have a shape that resembles a human creature, it feels more human than many other robots that are designed according to anthropocentric principles. As opposed to the etymological origin of the term “robot”, which is connected to the Latin word “labor” and suggests the tendency to relate to the robot in terms of the robot serving the human and making his missions more efficient, Travis, using sophisticated voice recognition and artificial intelligence applications, focuses on the collaborative potential and offers a new perspective on man-machine relations.

Travis is a collaboration of the IDC Media Innovation Lab with Gil Weinberg of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, and Roberto Aimi of Alium Labs.

GUY HOFFMAN is assistant professor of Communication at IDC Herzliya, and co-director of the IDC Media Innovation Lab. He holds a Ph.D from the MIT Media Lab, and his work includes human-robot teamwork, theater and music robotics, and non-humanoid robot design. He has staged the first human-robot joint theater show, and the first real-time improvising human-robot Jazz duet. He has designed several robots, including an award-winning robotic desk lamp.

GIL WEINBERG is an associate professor and the director of the music technology program at Georgia Tech. In his work Weinberg attempts to expand musical expression, creativity, and learning through technology. His research interests include new instruments for musical expression, musical networks, machine and robotic musicianship, sonification, and music education.

ROBERTO AIMI is a freelance consultant who works with researchers, artists, and corporations on robotics, toys, and consumer devices. Dr. Aimi has a Ph.D from the MIT Media Lab, and his recent work includes a robotic marimba player with Hoffman and Weinberg, a chess-playing robot with Intel Labs Seattle, and an intelligent construction toy, Atoms express.