Project Dishwasher: A Water Actuated Robotic Tongue Drum

We made a MIDI controlled tongue drum actuated with high pressure water stream. The chassis is a repurposed filing cabinet that contains a semi-closed loop water circuit. A custom, solenoid valve-articulated distributor sends highly pressurized water out of 13 nozzles. Each nozzle articulates either a tine on a steel tongue drum or a custom-made xylophone block. The unit is completely modular, which allows the composer to decide which elements he or she wishes to compose for. Software was developed so a non-technically inclined composer can upload any MIDI file, and it will be played. This instrument allows for entirely novel sounds as it combines percussive elements with a constant reverberation only possible for aerophones and string instruments.

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