The self-propelled robot drummer

March 24, 2008 | 14:53

Tags: #robot #yellow

So, you've got access to a toolkit and some electronics knowledge. Coupled with your copious spare time, you think you'd like to build a robot. But what should it do – there are so many worthy causes. It could defuse bombs, or find people trapped after earthquakes. Better yet – it could play a mean drum solo.

With nothing more than $120 worth of parts and twenty hours of free time, Fritsl of Let's Make Robots! Has built himself a bright yellow tracked drum machine. The basic idea is pretty cool – it's got the usual robot ability of wandering around its environment avoiding obstacles and not walking off cliffs, but it uses this skill to find objects that make nice noises when whacked. Predictably, once these have been located it starts whacking with its in-built drumsticks.

The robot records its efforts via built-in microphones and then starts to play a different beat whilst replaying the original ditty via an on-board speaker. Thus it's an automated self-propelled multi-track drum machine.

The tunes it creates are surprisingly detailed for such a little device, and it even has the ability to listen out for rhythmic clapping or stomping from any humans that might be in the area and match their tempo. Which, let's face it, is more than most student band drummers are capable of doing.

Has the project given you any ideas for your next build, or should the creator get out more? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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