Musicrobot playing the Clarinet: NICTA made first prize at automated music contest

Oh, cute little clarinet.

The Artemisia Association is organizing an automated-music contest for technical students every year to demonstrate to what embedded systems can do in context of instruments. Unfortunately I haven't heard of this before, but now it will move onto my radar. Very interesting works were created during this contest, which is a good sign. The frontier of music and robots is beginning to move forward.

The winner of the contest this year was a team from Australia. The most impressive skill of this musicrobot is speed. It played the "Flight of the Bumblebee" from the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The mechanics playing the clarinet are driven by pneumatics. This is somehow a logical step, because you also need to push air into the clarinet to generate any tone. Also look at the blinkenlights on the controllerboard that drive the mechanics. The guys at NICTA said, that the most difficult part was the design of the mouth for that device, in order to push in the air correctly.

The robot’s "mouth" uses two servomotors that apply force to the clarinet reed to make a sound. The smaller servomotor mimics the action of the human tongue, while the second applies a damping force to the reed, copying the action of the human lip. Force is applied to the clarinet keys by brass plungers with rubber or nylon feet depending on the key.


Tags: music, indoor, contest, homebrew, how-to, pneumatic
Jul_04:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

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