Jim Toggweiler – Final Project


beatBot is a drum playing robot that responds positively to human interaction and attention by playing music for its users. The target user of the beatBot is anyone who enjoys hearing rhythmic music and would want a quirky machine that they could watch play it. beatBot’s users may choose to use beatBot for a variety of reasons – for musical entertainment, for playing other instruments with, for something to dance to at a party, or for viewing pleasure.

The beatBot plays three Roland PD-8 electronic drum pads, connected to the Roland drum synthesizer that they are made for. It uses six Hitec HS-322HD servos to drive six shortened drumsticks which play on the Roland pads. The music beatBot plays is written as code. By counting to some integer like 2750 (milliseconds) repeatedly, a function ‘beat’

which tells a particular servo to hit its drum once, can be run at the moment the arduino counts to certain percentages of that integer. This allows the tempo of the music to change depending on the ambient lighting in beatBot’s environment, which it reads using a photocell during setup. A rangefinder mounted to the front of beatBot looks for people walking by to play music for. When it does not sense a human presence, beatBot plays a very simple rhythm on one drum to invite people in the area to come check it out, upon seeing them, beatBot begins to play more impressive music.

Code for all three songs can be found in the video description on Vimeo.

Untitled from Jim Toggweiler on Vimeo.

Parts List.

¾”, 3/8”, ¼”

MDF/ 1/8″ acrylic for structure
3 Roland PD-8 dual trigger drum pads
Roland TD-3 drum synthesizer
6 Hitec HS-322HD servos
6 On-Stage 7A hickory drum sticks
Radioshack LDR
Rangefinder provided by class, not sure of make or model
jumper wire


2 comments so far

  1. Dual Trigger Drum | MNC Makina Music on

    […] = ''; } Dual TriggerDrum TriggerRoland PD-80R PD80 drum trigger Dual V V-Drums PD-85Jim Toggweiler – Final Project #content-body,x:-moz-any-link{float:left;margin-right:28px;}#content-body, x:-moz-any-link, […]

  2. Dual Trigger Drum | MNC Makina Music on

    […] TriggerLOT OF 3 ROLAND PD-9 DUAL-TRIGGER DRUM PADS – V-DRUMSDrum Trigger PadDrum TriggerJim Toggweiler – Final Project #content-body,x:-moz-any-link{float:left;margin-right:28px;}#content-body, x:-moz-any-link, […]

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