Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Laser-Controlled Glockenspiel

Automation has shaped our society over the last century. It has put people out of work in many trades, but musicians have not yet fallen foul of this phenomenon to any great extent. As the glockenspiel player in a mildly popular Oxford band, I don't feel under threat from the robot uprising just yet. But perhaps I am a masochist, because I appear to have created this: the laser-controlled glockenspiel. It may only boast one working note, zero dynamic range and a questionable level of ocular safety, but it's got a laser in it. It'll be a few years before I stop regarding that as cool.

Technical info: The Arduino is running a program which triggers the servo motor when the value of the photoresistor corresponds to the laser not shining on it. The programming for the servo was a matter of trial and error, regarding the speed of the up and down phases of the movement and the target angle (which can be fine-tuned either within the code or by deforming the blue-tack that holds the servo in place). It isn't the most elegant solution, but I'm currently in a proving-stuff-could-work phase rather than a making-durable-stuff-to-use-at-a-gig phase.


  1. Please can you make a Matt Winkworth automaton

  2. Yes. Please send specifications.