The ExCITe Center
Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly
The ExCITe Center, at Drexel University, seems an odd jumble of upper and lower case letters. The ExCITe Center is an acronym for "Expressive-Creative-Interactive-Technology" center as Dr. Youngmoo Kim, director of the center, explains it. A university-wide center, Dr. Kim hopes to build on the work he is doing at his own lab and attract participants from artistic and technical disciplines from within Drexel and the surrounding Philadelphia area to explore the intersection between art and technology. The center has produced attachments for pianos that allow a pianist to control magnetic fields that work in tandem with finger movements to generate otherworldly sounds with the lightest of touches. Additionally, they are also working with the largest collection of humanoid robots in the United States (they are called HUBO's and are on loan to the center from Korea), to explore what it means to be "creatively expressive". In this segment, we see what it takes to make humanoid robots dance and magnetic pianos play, and how humans and machines work together to make art.
EsteAm — Edited by John Shirk
Why does our education system need the arts? Dr. Youngmoo E. Kim of Drexel University shines a light on the subject and provides his ExCITeful approach towards the educational integration of art within a technologically-fueled 21st century.
Producer Michael O'Reilly created this audio piece for a radio broadcast on the same night as the TV premiere of the April episode, highlighting his own take on the work at the ExCITe center, and how pianos can influence robots.