Irregular Incurve robotic instrument


The Irregular Incurve is a robotic instrument built by [Xiaoyang Feng] as part of his ITP thesis work. It’s a MIDI instrument with an array of 12 strung bows mounted to a curved shower rod. The end of each bow has a tuning key. The strings are each picked using independently mounted arms. One servo controls the downward motion of the pick while the other controls the rotation of the shaft. A damper is also attached to each arm. The string vibrations are transferred to a spruce soundbox under the bridge. Below you can see a video of Gizmodo playing with it at the ITP show. Check out [Xiaoyang]‘s Flickr set for images of the build process plus some early videos of the mechanism.


  1. adamziegler says:

    Neat instrument… but I would have liked to see an actual performance on it.

  2. Jim says:

    Concept is great, execution (at least going by video) is awful.

  3. Vonskippy says:

    So except for the monkey pounding on the keyboard there’s no actual musical example?

  4. offsuit says:

    Very clearly an attempt to implement a real world version of the picked string instruments from the Animusic 1 video “Acoustic Curves”. See

  5. elemnt14 says:

    I think acoustic curves did it better.

  6. AlmostThere says:

    It looks a lot like AniMusic, see and the whole site at

  7. Hank says:

    @ offsuit. dang, someone beat me to it.

  8. AlmostThere says:

    >dang, someone beat me to it.

    Yea, someone beat me to it too, but I didn’t know it because of this “Your comment is awaiting moderation” thing. What gives?

  9. Ninja says:

    Maybe next time they should have somebody who actually knows how to play piano play the plucking instrument.

  10. secchi di sangue says:

    that’s awesome, someones done this from animusic right on!!! now play something on it and amplify it

  11. Tom Sainsbury says:

    that’s awesome! you need to tune it properly though and make a full 61-88 note version! wayne lytle would be proud!

  12. grovenstien says:

    Um is this not an over complicated piano? Lacking all the feel and emotion?

    Very cool!

  13. AnthonyDi says:

    The servos make more noise than the strings.

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