We almost don’t have words for this Raspberry Pi project as we’ve never quite seen anything like it. Nonetheless, here we are, and we’re beyond excited to share this creation from a maker known as JupyterJeff on Reddit (or HighQualityFun over at YouTube). Using our favorite SBC, the Raspberry Pi, he’s created a musical robot that can be pushed around using a stroller.
It’s hard to avoid attention with a creation like this in tow. JupyterJeff explains that it was intended mainly to take to festivals, parades, and maker fairs where people anticipate this sort of creation. That said, it would certainly turn heads if let loose down a popular alley or street corner. The Pi controls a series of percussion instruments and runs a synth to back up the beat with some sweet melodies.
Songs must be preprogrammed to perform so he can build up a selection of tunes to rotate through. So, in addition to the song you hear in the demo video, you can also find it replicating Michael Jackon’s Thriller recently at Maker Faire.
Most of the mechanical pieces were fabricated using laser-cut plywood. The drumsticks are designed to pivot on bolts. The laser-cut components are operated via servo motors, and some springs give the sticks enough force to make a strong sound when hitting the drums. A Raspberry Pi 4 is used alongside a Pi DAC+ to improve the audio quality.
The Pi operates the music using MIDI/Karaoke files with the assistance of Rosegarden DAW. A custom Python script reads the MIDI file as it plays and sends instructions to a Polulu server to trigger the drum motors to hit the right beat.
Overall, this is one groovy Raspberry Pi project, and we’re just jealous that we haven’t had the opportunity to check it out in person. If you want to get a closer look at this impressive Raspberry Pi musical robot, visit the original project thread shared on Reddit and watch the demo videos to hear it in action.