Since two years (as of Jan 16), I have devoted most of my artsy time to my “sound carpet”. This is a bunch of 20-30 little solenoids. These solenoids I can spatially distribute in any fashion within a sphere of 5m radius from my laptop and make them hit anything I put in front of them. I steer them through an Arduino from my laptop, in any order, at any frequency (well, up to like 10 Hz, so fast enough…) and, most importantly, using any kind of information that I can have my laptop convert into numbers (so, anything). For example, the real time information about UK Rail Network delays, stellar positions, or, the usual favourite, earthquakes occurring around the world.
But I can also use them to create rhythms, coordinate them with music that I create or have people play into my mics.
This, for example, is some footage from a Music Hackathon at Imperial College where I played a little “glass xylphone” using a motion sensor (and won the price for “most innovate design” ;) )
As with many of my projects, once I get to the point where they work, I start another project instead of using them. So I haven’t setup the sound carpet in many ways, only played with earthquake simulation in my room, Jitter and iPad stuff and movement detectors for a hackathon at Imperial College (where the carpet won me the award for most innovative design, whoop whoop?!)
Scaling down on the number of solenoids, I recently built my Knockblock in which I use a single solenoid. Check it out.
Here are some videos documenting the process and some of the final outcome. For building the thing I basically followed this Robotic Xylophone thing.