Giant robotic ball throwing marimba + wine glass player

Some interesting things that may not be obvious just from the video: the machine actually creates a new song based on a short theme entered into the computer. Those balls get launched almost 6 feet in the air, and according to an email from the creator, only about 1/5000 miss! It was installed in a store front for a while, and had to operate some 14 hours a day… Another fun-fact, one challenge was finding a liquid that acted and looked like water, but wouldn’t evaporate. …”we ended up using the main ingredient in loctite- PEG dimethacrylate. works pretty well to create the necessary stick/slip condition.” As an engineering geek, I thought a lot of the how-it-works videos buried were just as interesting as their main demo video. Click the blog post heading for a list of favorites.
First click on absolut quartet on the top bar, then “about the machine”, then “Behind the Scenes”–this is where the good stuff is.
How the ball throwing, reclaiming and indexing system works:

  • Circuitry and
  • sand ball to test repeatability and accuracy, they spread sand out and watched where balls would make marks
  • Ball
  • ball top
  • dan
  • powder test
  • shot across

Also neat, the first algorithmically generated song:

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