Katsushi Ikeuchi: e-Intangible Heritage | CMU RI Seminar

26 February 2017

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Abstract: “Tangible heritage, such as temples and statues, is disappearing day-by-day due to human and natural disaster. In e-tangible heritage, such as folk dances, local songs, and dialects, has the same story due to lack of inheritors and mixing cultures. We have been developing methods to preserve such tangible and in-tangible heritage in the digital form. This project, which we refer to as e-Heritage, aims not only record heritage, but also analyzes those recorded data for better understanding as well as displays those data in new forms for promotion and education. This talk consists of three parts. The first part briefly covers e-Tangible heritage, in particular, our projects in Cambodia and Kyushu. Here I emphasize not only challenge in data acquisition but also the importance to create the new aspect of science, Cyber-archaeology, which allows us to have new findings in archaeology, based on obtained digital data. The second part covers how to display a Japanese folk dance by the performance of a humanoid robot. Here, we follow the paradigm, learning-from-observation, in which a robot learns how to perform a dance from observing a human dance performance. Due to the physical difference between a human and a robot, the robot cannot exactly mimic the human actions. Instead, the robot first extracts important actions of the dance, referred to key poses, and then symbolically describes them using Labanotation, which the dance community has been using for recording dances. Finally, this labanotation is mapped to each different robot hardware for reconstructing the original dance performance. The third part tries to answer the question, what is the merit to preserve folk dances by using robot performance by the answer that such symbolic representations for robot performance provide new understandings of those dances. In order to demonstrate this point, we focus on folk dances of native Taiwanese, which consists of 14 different tribes. We have converted those folk dances into Labanotation for robot performance. Further, by analyzing these Labanotations obtained, we can clarify the social relations among these 14 tribes.”

John Payne

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