Everybody loves bubbles so i figured this is probably the best way to start a Monday morning.
I have been busy running through ideas for automated instruments I could use to enrich my performances at open mic nights. One of the main points of interest for me is percussion as it is usually quite over looked at open mic nights apart from the occasional set of bongos. I have been drawing up sketches for a snare drum played using dropping marbles and also for a cassette player hack. The main hurdle for any automated instrument is how will it be sequenced to play itself. Last night I sat down for a while and coded a very very basic sequencer in processing that controlled an Arduino with Firmata installed. There is nothing fancy about the code but I believe this will be a good solid starting point for most of the automated instruments I could ever imagine. There are some images below of the basic setup and a video of the sequencer on the screen and the Arduino carrying out the sequence using LED’s. I am quite happy to publish the source code on request.
This made me smile so I thought i would post it. One of the projects I am working on at the minute is a snare drum that is played using marbles dropping from shoots. I had been wondering how to return the marbles to the top of the shoot until I saw this video posted on hackaday.com. Its such a simple idea I cant wait to see if it will work for my project!
The last couple of months after graduating have been rather “interesting!” I have been employed as a bin man, labourer and multidrop van man. These jobs have served their purpose as to paying off much of my immediate debt but they didn’t leave me oozing with creativity or bursting with innovative ideas. Things have taken a radical change for the better as I am about to enter the realms of perpetual studentism! I am going back to uni but this time instead of paying for the pleasure the uni is going to pay me. I have accepted a job as a technical instructor for new media at Falmouth University and I can’t wait to start. It is vital for me to keep upto date with new media and technology developements so I have decided… no more neglecting my blog!
here’s a little something to tease the technology taste buds and kick start a new beginning for this blog:
The Talking Piano was conceived and built by Peter Ablinger. Utilising Fourier analysis and an automated piano Ablinger is able to recreate speech. The speech is a little distorted but with the help of captions the speech is very recognizeable.
I didn’t want it to come to this! After many attempts to get the printer to go forward on its own accord (many resulting in ruining the control board and having to buy a new printer) i have brought out the secret weapon – ARDUINO. I also bought a heavily geared down DC motor from Tamiya. These factors combined result in some serious direct to everything progress!
The video shows the printer stepping forwards at a pace set by the Resistance registered by a potentiometer. Later on the potentiometer will be very important in tweaking the printer so it outputs correctly. The DC motor has more than enough power to move the printer.
The black and red wires go directly to the dc motor. The power is switched using a simple transistor.
If you don’t know what a scanimation is then here is a youtube clip by the creator -
If that has got you curious, excited or you are just plain bored then check out a little tutorial i wrote on how to create a scanimation. Please ignore the indexhibit sites style for the moment i have not had the time to style it yet.
After my post on subconscious tapping a while ago i have been pondering over my own version. I have been developing a very simple robot that bounces back and forth between two objects; the further apart the objects the slower the beat. I plan to make quite a few of these little bots so that different beats can be made by having each robot bounce between different distances. Here’s a quick mock up of how the robots will be made -
I have nick named him Gaz the destroyer i made a mock up out of cardboard before this one who was not quite so successful. He was called Baz the racing slug! i do in fact need to get out more.
I am quite happy with the over all performance of the mock up. There are a few things to take into consideration. The robot produces a slight wheel spin on the return journey. This is because of bad weight distribution. I have decided to counteract this by making the robot 4 wheel drive. I also want to consider what material to construct the mechanism with so that when the robot bashes against an object it makes a good noise.
I recently saw a post on pinktentacle.com about a Master Kenji Kawakami. At first i thought it was a joke the sort of thing you would see in a youtube style viral video. As i watched on i did notice that there was a level of ingenious invention behind the objects Kawakami made. So i did some very rough Internet digging and found out that this inventor is actually a living legend a sort of famous mad professor. Kawakami has hundreds of inventions under his belt and he even coined a phrase which is —– Chindōgu.
Chindōgu (珍道具?) is the Japanese art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that, on the face of it, seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem. However, Chindōgu has a distinctive feature: anyone actually attempting to use one of these inventions, would find that it causes so many new problems, or such significant social embarrassment, that effectively it has no utility whatsoever. Thus, Chindōgu are sometimes described as ‘unuseless’ – that is, they cannot be regarded as ‘useless’ in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called ‘useful’.
This notion makes me smile and so Master Kenji Kawakami i salute you. I’d like to think that having seen Kawakami’s stuff i can lace some of the fun, humour and ingeniousness into my own work.
here are a few examples of his work: