Roving sample robot

This apparently took just two hours to make with some simple components that came in the post. The creator has a walkthrough of how to make it, but I know I’ll never get around to it. I’m always seeing things like this that I’d like to make, and while I do think this is exceptionally cool, my soldering skills are exceptionally bad.

The robot randomly moves around the place until it senses something right in front of it using its motion sensors. Then it whacks it with is special hitting arm and records the sound. Its got a thumpy tail as well (which you can just about see in the video) that provides the kick drum. I think it must have some in built patterns, but the sheer coolness of it randomly finding the sounds by itself, playing the newly recorded pattern and then playing along on top of it is enough for me. I guess it would be extra cool if it had a little program to come up with spontaneous algorithmic patterns based on the timbre/frequency/loudness of the sound.

Actually, after watching the video again I think I just realized that what I like above and beyond the technological coolness of the thing (there are innumerable more sophisticated things that don’t get me near as excited), is the way it behaves. It bumbles along until it finds something to hit, then plays a little rhythm, looks like its having a think, is satisfied and goes off to find another sound. There’s a beautiful pause just after the rhythm is finished and before it starts moving again. The designer must have programmed that in, as well as the way that it rocks back in the middle of its performance and its little microphone eyes dart about in a half dance half nervous glance. And I love the idea of a simple thing like this, the sole purpose of which is to rove about and find sounds and make rhythms, and treat it like its the most important thing in the world.

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One Response to “Roving sample robot”

  1. I think that its ‘face’ is a joy – it looks like a cat placed in an unfamiliar environment. Aces.

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