Tag Archives: plays

Video: Tangible Orchestra plays for the masses



Tangible Orchestra – which was recently featured on the official Arduino blog – combines electronic and classical music in a three-dimensional space.

 Designed by Rebecca Gischel and Sebastian Walter, the installation is equipped with 112 ultrasonic sensors controlled by a single Atmel-based Arduino Mega (ATmega1280 MCU).

“Human interaction within Tangible Orchestra is made possible by 16 ultrasonic sensors on the inside of each cylinder, granting a 360 degree field of view. The sensors are run by one integrated microprocessor per cylinder, evaluating and comparing the readings of all sensors making very accurate assessments,” Gischel and Walker explained.

“To avoid interference between ultra sonic waves of different cylinders, the microprocessors run consecutively rather than simultaneously. All microprocessors are controlled, assessed and coordinated by one Arduino Mega.”

On the software side, Processing is used to communicate with Arduino and the microprocessors in each cylinder.

“It is programmed to coordinate the microprocessors, so that their sensors cast their rays consecutively as with 112 ultrasonic sensors operating at the same time, there would be a substantial risk of interference and acoustic shadow misreading. It also assesses the data coming from Arduino and, after verification, generates the output,” the duo continued.

“If a person detected within the bubble of a cylinder, Processing receives the digital information as an input from Arduino and stops muting the respective instrument which then joins into the melody. Processing also reads the values of each instrumental track to calculate the digital signals for the LEDs and controls the LED stripes inside of the cylinder.”

According to Gischel and Walter, each instrument is played by a separate speaker located in the base of each cylinder – with multiple sound outputs enabled via several external sound cards paired with the minim library by Damien Di Fede.

“When an instrument plays, the beats of the audible track are analyzed and consequently values are calculated to create an equalizer-like light beam,” the two concluded.

”The outcome is transferred via Arduino to a transformer, which converts the 5V Arduino signal into an 230V output operating 192 LEDs per cylinder. Another transformer converts 5V Arduino signals into 12V output powering LED stripes inside of each cylinder as soon as they are activated.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the the project’s official page here.

Video: This LEGO robot plays iPad games

Uli Kilian has designed a Lego Technics robot to play freemium games. More specifically, the Arduino Uno-powered (Atmel ATmega328 MCU) ‘bot plays Jurassic Park Builder, a title that requires the user to remain active (or tap) every few minutes. In addition to the Atmel-based Uno, key project specs include an old iPad mounted on top of Technics wheels.

“It’s a really nice game with nice graphics. But I thought you could easily automate the tapping,” Kilian, a senior art director at UK-based medical animation studio Random 42 told Wired UK’s Nate Lanxon.

“The last time I did anything with Lego was when I was eight, and I’ve never done anything with Technic. I heard about the [Arduino] boards two weeks before and I knew I was going on holiday. I’m a 3D artist so all the stuff I do is virtual and I really wanted to do something in the real world, and I’d never done anything with micro-controllers before.”

In Jurassic Park Builder, dinosaurs have different time periods during which they offer money. Simply put, the more regularly you load the game up and tap the dinosaur, the more you earn.

“One [dino kicks in] after five minutes – you tap him and get points. Another is every ten minutes; another every 15 minutes and so on. But you might want to sleep. At that time, that’s when the automation kicks in,” Kilian explained.

“I put all the dinosaurs in one line [in the game’s virtual park landscape] and then set the distance between them equally so the arm can move between them easily.”

Interested in learning more? You can read Wired’s full write up here.