Irregular Incurve is a MIDI controllable robotic string instrument. The twelve independent string-units compose the complete musical scale of 12 units. Each string can be plucked by a motor control guitar pick. A MIDI keyboard is attached to the instrument and serves as an interface for real-time interactions between the instrument and the audience. Irregular Incurve can also play pre- programmed music by itself.
Most robotic musical instruments, like player pianos, are developed based on the prototype of traditional instruments only for people. Unlike traditional instruments, Irregular Incurve is designed as an acoustic instrument played by a robot. Twelve strings of same thickness but different lengths are laid out on a sound box. The robot operates twelve corresponding guitar picks to pluck each string. The musical scale of this instrument can be potentially expanded through connecting it with more robotic musical instruments of the same type.
The design philosophy behind Irregular Incurve is to visualize and enhance the aesthetic expression of the music generating process. The designer believes that the enjoyment of music appreciation does not only happen at the moment when music reaches the audience, but is also stimulated by watching the visual interactions between the musician and the instrument. Irregular Incurve attempts to enlarge this imagination about music by visually expressing the beauty of mechanical movements.