Cheap, Expandable Floor Piano Plays With Heart And Soul

Ever since we saw the movie Big, we’ve wanted a floor piano. Still do, actually. We sometimes wonder how many floor pianos that movie has sold. It’s definitely launched some builds, too, but perhaps none as robust as this acrylic and wooden beauty by [FredTSL]. If you want more technical detail, check out the project on IO.

The best part is that this piano is modular and easily expands from 1 to 8 octaves. Each octave runs on an Arduino Mega, with the first octave set up as a primary and the others as secondaries. When [FredTSL] turns it on, the primary octave sends a message to find out how many octaves are out there, and then it assigns each one a number. Whenever a note is played via conductive fabric and sensor, the program fetches the key number and octave number and sends the message back to the primary Mega, which plays the note through a MIDI music shield.

We think this looks fantastic and super fun to dance around on. Be sure to check out the build log in photos, and stick around after the break, because you’d better believe they busted out some Heart and Soul on this baby. After all, it’s pretty much mandatory at this point.

Wish you could build a floor piano but don’t have the space or woodworking skills? Here’s a smaller, wireless version that was built in 24 hours.

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Wireless MIDI Floor Piano!

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[Jianan Li] just finished documenting one of his most recent projects, a wireless MIDI floor piano that he and a small group made for Duke University’s Hackathon!

He was inspired to do this project after reading our recent coverage on a DIY Pressure Plate. Having only 24 hours to compete in the Hackathon, they had to choose something that was fairly easy to build out of cheap materials, and quick to assemble. This was just the ticket.

The piano features 25 of the aluminum foil pressure plates, whose state are read by the Arduino Mega. This is then transmitted by an¬†XBee radio to an Arduino Uno, which acts as the receiver for the laptop that processes the signals. They even added a remote control using an ATtiny85 to allow for octave and instrument changes — it also uses an XBee to communicate back to the Uno. For a 24 hour build, the quality is quite impressive, and it doesn’t sound half bad either — Take a listen after the break!

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