SoundMachine made of LEGO®

Have you heard about the SoundMachine made using LEGO® MINDSTORMS®? It is really cool stuff made by Mark Crosbie from Ireland

The SoundMachine is built on a 64x64 LEGO® plate. The body of the SoundMachine is made from hundreds of 1x6 and 1x4 LEGO bricks in a wide variety of colours, and with a lot of Technic® beams used as reinforcement on the inside. The lid for the unit comes off and holds the NXT, the drive assembly and the scanning assembly mounted on top. Mark wanted to create a sleek modern look, so the top of the SoundMachine is covered in hundreds of 2x2 LEGO tiles. The body of the SoundMachine is made from hundreds of 1x6 and 1x4 LEGO bricks in a wide variety of colours.

Check out the photos/video here

Mark Crosbie tells about his background for making the SoundMachine:

“The idea for SoundMachine came to me when I was browsing the Beat Bricks project; a step sequencer that used a web camera to read 2×2 LEGO bricks placed on a base plate. While BeatBricks was impressive, it did not use the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT. This got me thinking… what if I replace the video camera with four LEGO colour sensors and a motor connected to a NXT???

After months of trial-and-error the final result is the SoundMachine as you see it today. Each SoundMachine unit uses 4 LEGO NXT MINDSTORMS 2.0 colour sensors to scan a 32x32 plate as it passes underneath. I place 2x2 LEGO bricks on the plate, arranged into four tracks of eight notes each. The plate is moved on a set of wheels from the standard LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 kit driven by a NXT motor. Each SoundMachine contains a single LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 programmable brick, which reads the data from the colour sensors and transmits it to my computer where it is converted into MIDI messages to create music.

I've built three SoundMachine units to work together to compose more complex musical pieces. I'm not much of a musician, so for now I play drum-machines and other "techno" instruments on my laptop controlled by data from SoundMachine. “

The man behind this amazing machine

Mark Crosbie has been building with LEGO from as young an age as he can remember. He started building with his Dad's classic LEGO bricks, moved on to LEGO Space sets and early Technic sets before entering his "dark period" as a teenager. Mark rediscovered his love for LEGO with the release of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention Set (RIS) in 1999. He instantly saw the potential of this powerful new programmable brick, and set to work creating new programming projects. With the release of the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Mark became more deeply involved in creating Lego robotics projects, ultimately leading to him joining the MINDSTORMS Community Partner (MCP) group to help advice and guide LEGO on MINDSTORMS. Mark's projects have been exhibited at LEGOWORLD and at the World Robot Olympiad in Abu Dhabi. Professionally Mark works in the computer industry, and lives in Ireland with his wife and three boys (and an enormous pile of LEGO).

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