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Magic table gives disabled child control over her music

magic_music_table_accessible_jukebox

Instructables user [XenonJohn] recently put together a fantastic tutorial detailing how he made an RFID-controlled jukebox. The Magic Music Table was created for a disabled child, who is unable to use a CD payer, nor navigate small buttons and menus on MP3 players. He originally though about making the buttons more accessible a la the Frankenkindle, but ultimately settled on making the table instead.

Embedded in the center of the Music Table under a piece of plexiglass is a small project box containing an iPod, Arduino Mega, and a Parallax RFID reader. He crafted small RFID “bricks” that can be waved over the RFID reader, triggering the iPod to play a specific album from a large playlist. The Arduino acts as the middleman, controlling the RFID reader and relaying the appropriate information to the iPod when required.

The system looks pretty sturdy, and [XenonJohn] says that it works great. We think it’s a wonderful use of technology – you certainly can’t argue with brightening up a child’s day.

Continue reading to see a video of the Magic Music Table in action.

Comments

  1. Colecago says:

    Seems pretty sweet, I don’t know how easy it is to interface with the iPod, so for me I’d have gone a mini/old windows machine. Awesome job.

  2. Jay says:

    I’m in the same boat. I have no idea how to interface with the iPod so I would have used an old computer, but well done.

  3. Solenoid says:

    You lost me at Instructables.

    • HaDurr says:

      Really? Your loss then, it’s a great little build.

      I don’t get why you were lost at “instructables”.

      It’s a free site, where a single click takes you to all the steps…it doesn’t get much easier…

      A closed mind is a terrible thing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems overkill. Why no just large buttons to navigate a iPods playlist? Or a itx computer.

    • John says:

      It could work with a board full of buttons with picture of album above each button.

      The point is that the child can runnage through a load of “blocks” as you would a pile of CD’s and choose the one they want. I think the correct term is Tangible computing.

      Older people will remember the joy of opening out gatefold album covers and reading all the lyrics / looking at the album art while the vinyl was playing. Check out a vinyl copy of War of the Worlds which actually has pages inside the album cover!

  5. JamieWho says:

    Wow. That build looks pretty good. Very good looking finish to it.
    It’s a shame that Apple doesn’t make a really big iPod Touch that a kid could easily use, or maybe add in voice control to an iPod Touch so that the kid can just say what they want to listen to. Man, that would be awesome!

  6. WhiteCrane says:

    This is an excellent design. Dropping the menu system makes this a far more intuitive interface that disabled children can interact with. There are many reasons beyond that as well, the child may have poor motor functions making a heavy button driven interface a task and take some of the enjoyment of the music playing away.
    The only thing extra I would add is some kind of rounded bevel on the edges of the plexiglass. Only to over-build the safty aspect, as kids can do the darndest things.

  7. Myndale says:

    I wonder how long before the RIAA slaps her with a copyright infringement lawsuit…

  8. jh says:

    as for the table edges… if that’s a concern… use those corner rubber bumpers that are sold for just that reason.

    Overkill FTW!

    It’s not built right until it’s overbuilt.

  9. Theinfiniti says:

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just use a barcode for faster, easier, and cheap operation? Great work nonetheless, hope that project brings much joy to its users.

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