What sounds like a sex-toy is actually the reason these musicians haven’t been practicing. Marv is the MIDI actuated robotic vibraphone built by [Tim O’Keefe], [Michael McIntyre], and [Brock Roland]. Every key has a solenoid positioned below it. The beauty here is that other than four small holes used for mounting, the vibraphone hasn’t been altered at all. The solenoids are positioned on the outside edges of the instrument but there’s also a hidden secret. A set of dampers have been installed between the two ranks of keys. These are used to stop dampen ringing keys after the note should have stopped.
These guys have exhibited some beautiful craftsmanship. Check out the videos after the break and if you have the chance, see Marv in person at BarBot 2010. If you do attend that robot extravaganza don’t miss your chance to enjoy a breast-pump actuated cocktail.