Tasked with creating a project with significant mechanical, electrical, and software components, our team fostered our love for music by building a robotic drummer. Inspired by Compressorhead, a fully automated robotic band, we sought to create a humanoid robot capable of detecting the beat of a song and playing along.
As a minimum viable product, we hoped to make a humanoid robotic drummer that has the capability to play a bass drum and snare drum along with the consistent beat of a metronome.
Our dream goal for the drummer is to have three appendages, capable of playing the high hat, snare, and bass, all along to the beat of a song.
Our completed project entitled, The Little Drummer Boyo, or Boyo for short has one active arm and one active foot for playing the snare and bass. Filtering for the frequency of a kick-drum, the analog circuit for beat detection can detect the beat of songs like Taylor Swift’s “Never Getting Back Together” and Rick Astley’s “Never Going to Give You Up”. Using two Arduinos this filtered signal is processed and the beat is calculated. With the flick of a mechanical wrist or the tap of its foot, the drummer plays along to the tune.
Here's a diagram depicting how the systems of our robot come together to make music!