Robot that Plays Drum – Yellow Drum Machine


This little robot first plays on the object it finds (or is forced to find by the angry cameraman), plays a small beat, and records the beat it plays on it. Then this recorded beat is played again, and it starts to play on the object (an belt tracks and everything else it has),and also playing this sampled beat 🙂

What does this little yellow robot do?

  • Navigate around, collect some data, avoid obstacles, until it
  • Finds something “worth playing on” (a single isolated object or a wide flat surface that it can find an angle onto)
  • Snakes into place
  • Plays some beats on what it have found, and samples this, checking it has a “good sound”
  • Based on data collected in the area, and sample just made, then compose a little rhythm, and plays this along with the sample


Why? Well.. I was sitting thinking what I should do for my next robot, what it should do.. Listening to music.. making a rhythm with some robot-parts.. Thought; “Hey, I will make a robot that drives around and plays on stuff“.

 

The Robot Setup:

Yellow Drum Machine robot

It is just made with sticks mounted very fast with a melt glue gun. But it is really solid still.

Yellow Drum Machine robot

Under neath is speaker and a microphone.

The speaker is used for beeps from the micro controller  and to make click-sounds to the beat. The click-sounds are simply made by setting a pin high and then low straight after each other. This way I can have the Micro controller make sound to the music it is also playing, without using any time / causing delay.

The microphone (located on the stick between the two motors) is used to sample sounds and take input, measuring if the sticks are hitting anything or not.

Also it can be used to detect a foot stumping on the floor or someone clapping, and so the robot can find the speed of this after four beats, and play along / fall in to your clapping or stumping.

And.. It can be used when there are kids playing with the robot; Signals “Record”, the kids shout, and the robot then plays music / a beat with their shouting as a part of “the music” 🙂

Yellow Drum Machine robot

 

Yellow Drum Machine robot

At the top there is another speaker. It is quite too large, I know, but I thought it looked cool 😀 Also because it is so torn and twisted, as I could not get it out of it´s old cabinet. On the top-speaker there is a red LED. It lights when the robot is recording, and gives a small blink when it is playing back a sample.

Yellow Drum Machine robot

As said above, there is no servo on this robot. The head is also using the little motors from Solarbotics. It was, however necessary to use some very thin wire to connect the SRF05, as it otherwise would sort of jam the head now and then if I was using my standard blue wire.

It was quite a fun challenge to make the rather complicated navigation and not having a servo, but only left /right/front to place the head, and then do the rest with the body.

The navigation is complicated because it is not just a matter of navigating around obstacles – that was the easy part. Second the robot has to find good places to drum; A single, isolated object, or a flat wall. Then the robot has to place itself on a good angle to the wall, or straight in front of the object.. All with only L/R/F with the head 😉 But it does it quite well now! I am usually amazed of what it finds to play on, when I just let it drive around.

 

Yellow Drum Machine robot

The robot runs for ever on just 4 cells. It must be because the belt-tracks are so geared that there is no strain on the motors.. And no servos, and the sampler takes nothing either.. I dont know, I just know that it runs for hours, more than my wife can stand to listen to – on one charge 😀

Yellow Drum Machine robot

In the center of this image is a L293D Motor driver. It is just used to enable the head to turn both ways.

Notice how easy it is to mount stuff with this glue; I just thought it would look good there on the side. Put some glue on, and stick it there. Hey, the cables are dangling.. Well.. press then onto the wood, and add a line of glue, bingo!

There is a blue print sticking out behind the wood from a cheese-container 😉 That is “the sampler”.

– And it is just hacked; I took off the switches, and now the microcontroller can record and playback sounds.

Yellow Drum Machine robot

– As almost always; Picaxe 28X1 mounted on a standard board. So fast, so effective!!

Yellow Drum Machine robot

Detail of making can be found here

[via letsmakerobot]

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