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Robotic Xylophone - Page 2 — Parallax Forums

Robotic Xylophone



  • The Intel creation above had bars that weren't strictly rectangular but not nearly "pie" shaped.

    They sounded pretty good.
  • Would solid aluminum bar stock be a good call for something like that, if secured at one end only. make an interesting frame, if you wan't to play it from the center.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 23,026
    edited 2015-10-22 23:20
    To get any kind of sound, the bars have to be secured at their nodal points, 22.4% from the end or ends. Even hanging chimes work best when attached at that point. Held from the end, all you get is a dull tink or thud, depending on what you strike it with.

  • The bars on xylophone more or less float on two posts, the bars on a music box are secured at one end. Would a music box on a bigger scale sound any good.
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,960
    Music box tines must be bolted tight to a heavy rigid frame & sounding board, which could get pretty massive compared to xylophone bars supported at their nodes by a lightweight skeleton frame.
  • How about a wraught iron frame, with an oak subframe.
  • Scratched this up earlier
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  • ercoerco Posts: 19,960
    The cheap & fast erco version uses a $7 Walmart xylophone. :) Phil's is fit for Carnegie Hall, mine's barely fit for next week's Maker Faire.

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  • I like it!

  • ercoerco Posts: 19,960
    Thanks, that's high praise from the Master!
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,960
    Here's a kids toy which shows some of the challenges of robotics. Start those kids off with a dose of reality! It requires user calibration for each note, goes slow, and occasionally hits two notes. Maybe by showing kids these issues early, so they'll say, "when I grow up, I'm gonna fix that".

  • ercoerco Posts: 19,960
    PhiPi: There is a fine body of work out there to draw off of... WOW!

  • Wow! Those are over the top!

    The very first "robots" were mechanical automata built by watchmakers, some of which played instruments. Then, when electricity came along, instruments such as violanos came into vogue. I remember seeing one as a kid at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. I was transfixed. The violin inside of it was "bowed" by four spinning felt wheels that would move up and down on the strings as some other mechanisms did the fret work.

    Here's a website that illustrates the variety of some of these old instruments:

  • ercoerco Posts: 19,960
    Just bought another toy xylophone from my local Walmart, this one is PERFECT for automating since the bars are mounted radially. Great tones too. Much better and cheaper than the one I used (also from Walmart).The last one in my store and 'out of stock' on the website, not sure if it is discontinued or not. If you ever thought about making one, don't wait, might be your last chance. Check your local store.

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