Let's Make Robots!

Piano Poker

This little guy (passively in the works) will evntually play the piano. The design will compose of 5 digits, four wheels, and will hopefully only take up the linear space of 2 fists. It's very very rough in design and still in the works: generally, you feed it a midi file, it will parse the notes, determine piano fingering, and play the piece. This is gonna take a while....

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why not have an actuator for every key in one octave, robots dont need the limitations imposed by human form, having more actuators would make it faster through the octave, and remove the need for the moving "thumb" making for simpler programing
Well, i considdered similar options... making a full single octive [13 actuators] still does not solve the problem with playing a continuous arpeggio. Similar situations can occure in which the robot still needs to move up and down the keys (hints the need for servos, letting each digit piviot so the bot can play notes on the move). Minimizing the digits simplifies the hardware but complicates the software (which finger should play when? working on that... ). Also, each linear servo is going to be at minumum $50 (at least as far as i can find), so keeping it at 5 digits sounded pretty good if it simply meant just more hours coding :) (I'm a poor college student). If this little project works, i was thinking of building a second one and installing a radio on each so they can play together as 2 hands.
so the 5 actuators will run up and down the keyboard on the wheels?
Indeed, thats the plan. Every piano has a 1x lip in the front below the keys (enough space fora  tire to rest in front of the keys), and there is typically a faceboard that folds up when not covering the keys (...another nifty spot for robotic wheels). This implies 2 wheels next to each other on the 1x in front and 2 other wheels perpendicular to the first two up against the faceboard. Each digit will eventually consist of a linear servo and a potentiometer servo, 4 will be fixed, and the 5th (the thumb) will be on a track of sorts (haven't worked this out quite yet).