Roboticized Zelda Ocarina Plays Itself

[3DSage] has long been obsessed with a certain type of musical instrument after playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It spawned a project to robotically control an ocarina, which turned out beautifully.

The first step was to build an air blower that could excite the ocarina into making noise. With that completed, [3D Sage] then 3D scanned an ocarina so he could design a mechanism that would fit the instrument and let it be played. The final design uses a set of solenoids with rubber caps to plug the various holes of the ocarina to play different notes. The solenoids are actuated according to notes pressed on a printed keyboard. Alternatively, it can be programmed to play pre-stored songs by itself.

The results are charming, though the ocarina does sound a little off-pitch. Overall, though, the project is a great use case for a 3D scanner, since the instrument itself is such an odd irregular shape.

10 thoughts on “Roboticized Zelda Ocarina Plays Itself

  1. Its a cool project but it’s designed in a way that makes recording pick up the blower and solenoid noises. He could solve this by making the mech parts remote and have pipes or whatever pass through a soundproof box and touch the instrument. For example having a air hose for the blower, and maybe pneumatic or hydraulic or mechanical-rod linkages for the finger-hole-closers.

    1. Just a rubber damper on the solenoids so you don’t get the metal on metal clack would help, and slightly bigger impeller so it is quieter. Moving everything away adds complication whereas this has its own charm.

  2. Holes should be normally open and closed by the coil to actually play notes in my opinion. Tuning is thrown off (down) if hole is not uncovered fully. Any little leak under any “finger” raises pitch. Bigger hole raises pitch smaller lowers pitch. Larger diameter rotor for a blower makes less noise. Look for inflater for yard decoration snowmen etc. much quieter.

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