3D Printed Robot Accompanies on the Keyboard

Watch out Chopin: a Polish university student has programmed a robot to play the piano. The musical robot, which pushes piano keys using pronged 3D printed fingers, was developed specifically to accompany its creator while he plays the violin.

The student behind the project, Wojciech Świtała, was inspired to program the 3D printed robot as part of his master’s thesis project at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow.

Through the project, Świtała found a creative (not to mention, entertaining) way of combining his studies in the faculty of electrical engineering, automatics, computer science and biomedical engineering with his passion for playing music.

While the piano-playing robot admittedly does not have the musical chops of a human pianist (or perhaps even a relative novice), the robot is capable of carrying a tune and provides a nice, simple piano accompaniment.

The robot itself is based on one of Mitsubishi’s robotic arms, which Świtała equipped with a 3D printed hand (more of a prong) and programmed to play certain melodies on the piano. That’s right, the robot doesn’t just play one series of keys, as it can actually be “taught” different sequences.

Świtała explains that users simply have to click virtual piano keys in a computer program and the sequence will be saved and sent to the 3D printed robot, which will then “learn” the melody and can play it back when placed in front of a keyboard.

Of course, because the robot isn’t equipped with a set of ten fingers—like most pianists are—it is quite limited in terms of its musical capabilities. What the two-pronged robotic arm can do is play two keys at once, and press them in good time. In the video demonstration, you can even see the 3D printed bot hit a cymbal!

Świtała admits that the robot is in its early stages and that there are still some significant kinks to work out in its operation. For one, the sound of the robot’s motor is not ideal for producing music (unless you’re specifically looking for a technological buzzing), and the robotic arm is still quite slow.

Read the full article here at 3ders.org

Or learn how to play a lot better than the robot by going here…

Pastor plays the piano in a flooded home…

A man whose story and video went viral after he was captured playing a piano in his flooded Texas home has a new piano.

Aric Harding of Friendswood, Texas, returned to the waist-deep floodwaters in his family’s home after Hurricane Harvey in August to get some of his children’s belongings. His home was one of 350,000 destroyed by the rising waters.

He said he stopped at the piano, which belonged to one of his sons, and had a friend record him as he played it.
The Harding family’s home was flooded by Hurricane Harvey in August.

“For us, it’s a piece of music being this universal language for everyone. It’s always been a big part of my life. My family’s always been very musical,” he told ABC Houston station KTRK-TV. “From the moment we get up in the morning to the moment we go to sleep, we’ve got music going on in our house.”

At that moment, Harding said, he hoped the video would lift his children’s spirits and show his son his beloved instrument was still working.

“It was kind of the first time for me that I had sat down and been still, you know since the storm. And so it was, it was an unintentional special moment,” Harding said.

He then posted the video online with a Bible verse about having hope. The video circulated on social media, eventually reaching Grammy-nominated singer Vanessa Carlton, who then asked how she could get the family a new piano.

Harding said the family had to get rid of the old piano — with its rusty strings and broken bass board — after it was destroyed in the floodwaters.

“She [Carlton] literally just calls me one morning like, ‘Hey, this is Vanessa,'” Harding told KTRK. “To have that kind of generosity, you know, to come about, that’s just one piece of the generosity that has happened not only for us but for other people in this area.”
PHOTO: Aric Harding poses with his family. Harding said that playing the piano and music in general was a big part of his life and his familys.Aric Harding
Aric Harding poses with his family. Harding said that playing the piano and music in general was a big part of his life and his family’s.

Harding, a father of seven, received the new piano Saturday. Having a piano back in the house was a big deal, especially for his son Rylor, who is back practicing, Harding said.

“Just being blessed to even have the chance to own one of these is amazing,” Rylor said.

Others have also donated pianos to the family, so Harding and his father plan to get them to residents who lost theirs in the area, as well as piano students.

“Hopefully, we can keep passing this forward a little bit,” he said.

read more here at abc news…