Glockenspiel

For our project on wireless sensor systems (CSC 453), we programmed microcontrollers to automatically play a glockenspiel. The instrument takes MIDI files as input and uses the data to control electronics, which strike the instrument.

We used SunSPOTs, which are controllers made by Sun Microsystems and run a miniature JVM. We wrote code to wirelessly accept MIDI input from the computer. Each SPOT could only control 8 notes. Since the glockenspiel has 32 keys, 4 SPOTs are used to cover the instrument's entire range. Our code takes a song and parcels the notes to each SPOT.

We submitted a proposal to the department to acquire the musical instrument, electronic components, and materials. We designed the circuitry and physically built the instrument. For our work, my partner and I won our department's Bitzer Creativity Award which included a $1000 prize.

Our work was based on a previous implementation. We used SunSPOTs rather than an Arduino, and our project takes input from MIDI files. Additionally, we made some improvements to the hardware design.