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…