Portable Musical Stairs

musical stairs

[Amir] recently finished a pretty cool project — Portable Musical Stairs! He designed and built it so it could be temporarily installed in schools for musical therapy sessions with autistic children — a fun activity for all ages!

The system utilizes lasers and photo sensors that come with a built in digital output with a sensitivity potentiometer, which makes it super easy for the Arduino Leonardo to interpret. The reason they are using 2 by 4’s for the system is because of the width of the stairs. At 1.75m across, a laser misaligned by only 1 degree results in it being about 3cm off!

On the software end of things, the Arduino acts as a HID input to the computer to create the sounds. [Amir] has put together a free sound sampler on his website makeysoundy.com, and we must say, it’s pretty fun! You can assign notes to different keys, which makes it super easy to make a similar project to this!

Stick around after the break to see the stairs in action!

While it’s a great project, maybe [Amir] should check out the musical stairs some students at Hack Princeton came up with last month!

8 thoughts on “Portable Musical Stairs

  1. I wonder whether this could be built as a collection of individual project boxes that are just stuck to the wall adjacent the stair. Use a laser and photocell to spot reflections as a person interrupts a beam projected across the stair tread. Something like a range finder or kinect.

    This would be more portable although perhaps somewhat less accurate.

    Each project box could include its own power supply and tone generator for one note (so you could stick these boxes up anywhere). Or could relay wirelessly to a master controller with the audio processing and speakers.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.