For Professor Rogers’ Introductory Robotics and Mechatronics (ME 84) class, students were required to design a robot to play a musical instrument.
Upon hearing their assignment, Emmanuel Runes, E13, Alexander Metzger, E13, Brad Nakanishi, E13, Bronson Wongkew, E14, and Nate Goldsberry, E13, decided to challenge themselves and take on the violin. Why is the violin a challenge, you ask? “Basically, the difficulty is not only being able to hit the various strings for pitch difference, which by itself can be a difficult problem, but the hardest issue is the bowing motion: you need to apply the correct amount of force and correct amount of speed for bowing because too slow or fast causes squeaking from the violin and negatively affects the sound,” explains Metzeger.
After more than 130 hours working on the project, the group debuted their masterpiece at a special Robot Concer in Distler Performance Hall on December 6. Check out the fruits of their labor in the video below!