Meet Stanley, the interactive piano. He's a robot piano that takes song requests from twitter, and entertains his superfans through music and conversation.
Stanley's debut show was the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle, Washington. To promote the indy music scene surrounding the event, Stanley was asked to play the tunes of the artists booked that weekend. A small mob of Digital Kitchen creatives, producers, and developers put their efforts together to get Stanley exactly what he needed to blow everyone away– a teaser video, street posters, wooden stage, hand-painted signage, lighting, and a live video feed for the world to watch. Being a handsome musical robot can have it's perks.
The response was fantastic. Over 25 million PR impressions launched Stanley to the big time, landing him international awards, a gig in New York, a couple thousand twitter followers, press from around the world, and a permanent installation at Twitter HQ in San Fransisco . He's still getting requests to this day.
Locally or across the world, users tweet to Stanley. A moderation tool called S.T.A.N.F.O.R.D. picks up the tweets and dissects them for song titles or artist names. These keywords are cross referenced with songs and artists in Stanley's song database. Songs are added to a queue, and an @reply is tweeted to the requestor when the song is ready to play. The performances are all streamed live over the web. S.T.A.N.F.O.R.D. tells Stanley's brain (a macbook pro) which song to play. A MIDI interface sends note data to a hardware controller. Each note activates one of 88 solenoid valves; one for every key. His life started as a player piano, built to read music from long scrolls of an ancient material called "paper." Now he plays Jenny From the Block, 40 keys at once.
Demetre Arges / David Mikula, creative directors
Alaa Mendili, interactive creative director
Matt Mulder, executive creative director
Cara McKinley, interactive developer
Koji Minami / Raul Villalobos, artists
Josh Hayward, video director
Dave Brown / Paul Williamson, producers