Glockenbot

Year: 

2010

Designers: 

Dimitri Diakopoulos, Michael Darling, Ajay Kapur
Glockenbot is an actuated metallophone with 13 chromatically tuned aluminum bars in the key of D
Glockenbot is an electro-mechanical metallophone with timbres similar to a glockenspiel. The bot utilizes 13 CalTron solenoid beater assemblies which were designed at CalArts for this instrument, emphasizing a low-cost approach to fabrication. The CalTrons strike hand-tuned 6061 T6 aluminum bars – an aluminum alloy with particularly resonant properties. The instrument can play a chromatic octave from D4 to D5 and was designed without a damping system to permit tone clusters with very long decay times. Built in the spring of 2010, Glockenbot premiered during the CalArts Machine Orchestra show on May 13th, 2010. In February 2011, the bot was completely revamped with faster beater assemblies and new electronics & wiring. Additionally, two actuated slinkies were mounted to the frame for amplified laser-like sounds, because it was determined that the Machine Orchestra needed to incorporate more sci-fi laser-like sounds. Built on the base of a discarded office chair, Glockenbot is controlled via HIDUINO, a custom MIDI firmware for AVR microcontrollers.