REDHOT is a deconstructed robotic piano by kinetic artist Trimpin. Suspended three feet in the air by a custom aluminum frame, the piano plays a variety of re-imagined Beethoven pieces and original works. REDHOT was originally commissioned by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and has traveled wide, winning an award at the Portland Art Museum, and later as a centerpiece of the REBOOT:music exhibition at the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation.
Trimpin and I collaborated on this project by imagining playful interactions that people could have with the work. We settled on the idea of a conducting analogy, where the piano is the orchestra. I designed the interactions to use one of Intel's depth cameras to track hands performing a downbeat gesture, just as an actual conductor would. Participants are subsequently awarded with a one or two minute performance for their efforts!