This has been making the blog-o-rounds, but if you haven’t seen it, the Yellow Drum Machine is a brilliant musical robot — brilliantly musical, and brilliantly simply technologically. (There’s something to be said for elegant design.) It rolls around, looks for objects nearby, bangs on them, and samples that sound. (Hmm, it’s like a little robotic equivalent of me around my apartment.) As seen on MAKE.

The specs are terrific:

By “fritsl” — fritsl, if you’re out there (or anyone else), want to let us in on who you are?


Robots on CDM

Robot Drummers, Compared: Like Musicians, Robots are Better When They Listen

Robot Drummer Responds to Human Playing; How They Did It (speaking of which, Gil and company at Georgia Tech, perhaps it’s time for a Haile Mobile?)

Got something cool like this and can get to San Francisco in April? I hope you’re entering our competition!

  • Lovely robot. Would be a great backup to annoy my wife when I'm not around to tap on things.

  • Not sure that we will be seeing a mobile Haile. Haile was Scott Driscoll's project (funny how he was never mentioned in the CNN article, huh? Academia's a bitch…).

    I know that Scott left GT to work for a robotics company and Haile is probably GT property, so I don't know that he'll be getting worked on…

  • As well explained on the maker’s blog, the time constraint is part of the project (not 20 hours, but “short time, without drawing anything in advance.”) It’s really interesting how he thinks this made him make a better robot (“more human”.) Composition time is a parameter of musical creation as well, and it influences the final quality of a piece. And surely in certain circumstances, “shorter time” means “better music,” but in which circumstances? How to create these?

  • typodaemon

    I think that's the cutest little robot I've ever seen.

    Way more cooler than that dancing yellow puff ball.

  • "fritsl, if you’re out there (or anyone else), want to let us in on who you are?"

    Hi there – Yes I am out there, and next to me is some sticks & wires & some yellow belt tracks 😀

    Thanks for all the street-credit etc, thank you so very much. I hope my next robot / next weekend can live up to this, lol!

    I am CEO of – consider this brilliant company next time you want a website. Well – what else to do with my 15 minutes of fame, if not an ad for my company 😉

    Anyway – it is very easy to make these robots, seriously; I do not have much of a clue, I just have plenty of glue. Hey – what a little fame can bring up in you, rhyming now, so muzical 🙂

    i have made a walk through on how to make a quite capable robot, that uses all the same basics, and it only takes 2 hours once you got the parts send by mail..

    Thanks for listening, and sorry if I do not check back again, answering every god known blog on the planet takes quite some time – but if you need help on a project, do not hesitate to contact me.

    Trust me; it is fun and easy to build robots!



  • Deadlines can be very good for creativity… an example of this would be the RPM challenge, to create an album in a month. Although it’s hard to measure ‘quality’ of music, I imagine that the quality of ‘deadline’ music is at least as high as that created with no deadline…

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