Robo-Tambourine (Robambourine? Tamborobot?)

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Continuing on my work putting together some electronic projects, for some time, I’ve been hoping to create a robotic drummer, specifically a robotic taiko that I can perform with on shamisen.

I had this idea a while ago, but there were a number of challenges, such as getting solenoids strong enough to do the work, the mechanics of the drum swing, and, importantly, constructing the taiko.

Since I’m on an DIY kick now, I figured I’d put together a mini drumbot with things I had lying around already (including a discarded tambourine), as a baby step toward this goal.

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I happened to have a little solenoid and vibration motor that I got at Sparkfun, and figured I’d JFDI (“Just ____ Do It”) and put together the tambourine bot.

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It’s actually all fairly straightforward. The MIDI Breakout is also from Sparkfun, and my arduino code is ridiculously simple (download here if you’re interested). I’m sending out MIDI notes from my computer (in Logic), and the Arduino translates middle C (note number 60) into the vibration, and C# (note number 61) as the mini solenoid.

So here’s how it sounds.

Of course this little guy likely won’t be getting up on stage any time soon, but… baby steps.

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The next step is perhaps to figure out how to get these big old solenoids the 36 volts that they need.

potsNpans

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A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one.

-Dmitri Shostakovich