Dance Notations and Robot Motion

Volume 111 of the series Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics pp 299-317


Benesh Movement Notation for Humanoid Robots?

  • Eliane MirzabekiantzAffiliated withConservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris Email author 

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Benesh Movement Notation (BMN) is a written system for analysing and recording human movement. It is a flexible tool that reduces three-dimensional body positions and actions in space over time to a series of two-dimensional key frames. Created in the twentieth century, BMN has been applied to fields as diverse as dance, gymnastics, mime, circus performance, anthropology, ergonomics, neurology, and clinical research. Might it also contribute to research in humanoid robotics? The intention of this paper is to provide the scientist with an introduction to its application across a variety of fields as well as a rudimentary understanding of the Benesh system, so that he may evaluate its potential contribution to robotics research. To that end, this paper explains how BMN conceptualizes movement and provides examples that illustrate how those fundamental concepts have been modified for special purpose projects. Given its demonstrated adaptability, the author is optimistic that the system may be extended through close collaboration between the notation expert and the robotics researcher.