It’s the happiest sounding instrument in the marching band, and it’s got the best name to boot. It’s the glockenspiel, and if this robotic glockenspiel has anything to say about it, the days of human glockenspielists are numbered.
In its present prototype form, [Averton Engineering]’s “Spielatron” looks a little like something from a carousel calliope or an animatronic pizza restaurant band. Using a cast-off glockenspiel from a school music room as a base, the Spielatron uses four mallets to play all the notes. Each key is struck by a mallet secured to a base made of two servos. For lack of more descriptive mallet terminology, these servos provide pan and tilt so the mallet can strike the proper keys. The video below shows the Spielatron’s first recital.
An Arduino runs the servos and a MIDI interface; unfortunately, this version can’t play chords and is a little limited on note length, but upgrades are on the way. We’ve seen a robotic glockenspiel before with a similar design that might have some ideas for increasing performance. But if you’re looking for a more sublime sound, check out this dry ice-powered wind chime.
7 thoughts on “Swarm Of Servos Plays This Robotic Glockenspiel”
it’s pretty much stuck on playing slow rhythm with the hardcoded delays; next up delay the incoming midi stream and do some planning for the strokes.
Is it just me? Or does the “scale” on that instrument twist your mellon?
It needs more cowbell.
So apparently youtube needs a 3x speed setting, 2x is still wasting time.
A bit tepid .. an automated version of something like this would impress me ..
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