Robotic Percussion Orchestra

For their final projects, students in Professor of Engineering Carr Everbach's methodology class invented percussion instruments that could all be played from the same MIDI piano, or from MIDI files that could be sent to the piano. Instruments included water chimes, hanging bells, a steel pan drum, a toilet plunger organ, and a glockenspiel."The goal was a robotic percussion orchestra that would possibly be useful in a musical or dance performance," says Everbach, whose main areas of interest include acoustics and environmental engineering. "Each group brainstormed ideas, learned how to use the machine shop, investigated electronics, solenoids (coils driving a magnet through induction), and servo motors, and did Matlab programming."