• 1/21/2019

Artificial Intelligence and TUM JazzBand

The double bass

Humanoid robots and string instruments – how does that go together? Really well, according to Adrian Bauer (28). He completed his Master's degree in Robotics at TUM last year, and he plays douoble bass in the TUM JazzBand. On January 26, 2019, the band will be giving a big concert in the Audimax.

Adrian Bauer, a member of the TUM JazzBand, with the robot "Rollin' Justin". Only Bauer can play the double bass. (Photo: DLR CC-BY 3.0)
Adrian Bauer, a member of the TUM JazzBand, with the robot "Rollin' Justin". Only Bauer can play the double bass. (Photo: DLR CC-BY 3.0)

Adrian, after having completed your Master's degree at TUM, you are now at the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, and you are working on your doctoral thesis. What are you doing exactly?

I work in the field of Artificial Intelligence, with humanoid robots that are to be used in space – and on earth, in the field of nursing. My focus is on the interface between symbolic and subsymbolic planning. It’s all about aligning the logic of things with the perception of the robot – about a logical representation of the world.

What do you mean with that?

For example, a possible task for a robot could be to take an item out of a drawer. In order to do so, the robot must first learn that the drawer can be either "closed" or "open" – and that you can only take something out in the open state, which is why it has to be opened first. A robot has to learn that.

What were your steps before you joined the DLR?

Initially, I graduated with two Bachelor's degrees – in Mechanical Engineering, from the Dual University Ravensburg, and in Cognitive Science in Tübingen. Then, I went to TUM for my Master's degree.

Did you always play music?

At the age of seven or eight, I started playing the guitar. As a teenager, I switched to electric bass because I wanted to play in bands. I thought it was cooler – and there's always a demand for bass players. Later, I started playing double bass.

Now, you are the double bass player of the TUM JazzBand. How did you get into the band?

During a semester abroad in Antibes in southern France, I played music with other students. I realized that I wanted to be more involved with music again, so I started looking for a band when I was back in Germany, at TUM. I came across the Jazzband. I also play in "Jiggle and the Hairstylers". We, the band members, went to school together in Oberschwaben, and three of us are now living in Munich. We play Rock'n Roll.

Robotics and double bass, does that go together?

For me it does, absolutely. I think playing music is a great way to get a change from the "brain work" – just follow your gut feeling and wind down. In the field of Artificial Intelligence, following your gut feeling simply won't get you anywhere. Everything follows the laws of logic, and intuition alone rarely leads to the right results.

(Interview: Verena Meinecke)

The repertoire of the TUM JazzBand includes Swing, Latin, and Funk, but also film music and pop. In addition to large concerts, there are regular appearances at TUM-events, gigs outside the university, and at student festivals. At the concert in the Audimax on January 26, 2019, the band will be playing together with the Landesjugendjazzorchester. Admission is free, the concert starts at 7 pm.

More information:
The TUM JazzBand: Musicians of all sections wanted

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

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