Ardunio-powered Colour Chasers offer music for all

A London-based sound artist and designer named Yuri Suzuki has designed a robot that allows people of all ages and abilities to write music.

“I have passion to make and play music. I used to learn piano, trombone, guitar, however reading musical score is the biggest wall for me,” Suzuki told Wired (UK).

“I used to play trombone in a Ska music band. We had been working together for seven years. However, I got fired because I cannot read musical score. So I dreamed to create new musical notation [to give] dyslexic people [easy access].”

As Wired’s Liat Clark notes, Colour Chasers are aptly named, as the small train-like robots literally chase colors drawn onto a black line, playing a different sound for each different color or shape they meet.

“Each robot is fitted with two sensors that run on [an Atmel-powered] Arduino – one is programmed to follow black lines made by marker pens, and the other to detect different colors,” Clark explained. “There are a total of five different car robots that each read colors differently, producing different sounds, from drums to chords.”

The Colour Chasers were exhibited as a public audiovisual installation “Looks Like Music” this summer at Mudam Luxembourg.

“I [wanted] to show the potential of music and sound.This installation is based on basic musical logic and people understand how the process works,” Suzuki added.

So what’s next for talented musician? Well, Suzuki and his R&D consultancy company Dentaku are currently working on a synthesizer board dubbed Ototo that transforms saucepans into drum kits and makes origami sculptures sing when touched using accompanying sensors, inputs and touch-pads. Ototo is slated to make its debut at the Abandon Normal Devices Festival Fair on Saturday, October 5th.

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