This multi-beater drumming bot looks as much
like an old fishing reel as an instrument.
the Tammy, and
the North Indian musical ensembles, keeping time and
creating complex rhythms. The robotic drum robot strikes a
dozen different percussion instruments taken from various
parts of India. The percussion instruments include frame
drums, finger cymbals, bells, gongs, and wood blocks.
This one is a new entry into the
aesthetically pleasing sound producing
robot. “We started building it just last year.
We created the drum’s shell ourselves,” says
Kapur. The team wanted to create a drum
that could beat very, very fast. To enable
this, creators Kapur and Darling installed 12
“beaters;” six on each side of the drum, all
beating at high speed.
“The robot has beaters that strike
different parts of the drum for different
timbres and if you get them going all at
once, you can get high speed rolls that you
could never get with a human being,”
The team of Kapur and Darling built
the Tammy in their very first edition of the Robotic Design
for Music and Media class. “A couple of student groups
were creating these marimba bars. We got all the parts
from the scrapyard. It sits on a chair for mobility and uses
telephone bells, marimbas made of rosewood for the
chromatic scale, and a droning
string from a fan to make music,”
Together with Owen Vallis,
Jordan Hochenbaum, Charlie
Burgin, Jim Murphy, Jeff Lufkin,
Steve Rusch, and Dimitri
Diakopoulos, the robot’s creators
saw something in their minds that
would embody many instruments,
which would be added or
developed for Tammy over the
years. Tammy is six feet high and
currently uses 14 actuators.
Made from a steel frame with
aluminum bars that a CalArts
Master’s student cut to varying
lengths to tune them musically to
play the chromatic scale, the
GlockenBot uses solenoids from
junkyards and plays 13 notes,
according to Kapur.
This looks like an instrument from a
Dr. Seuss book.
The GlockenBot, which looks very similar
to a xylophone.
“We network all the robots
12 SERVO 12.2011