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Simon writes in about his robot that plays a traditional Chinese Dulcimer. It is controlled by (2) Arduinos, which receive data via motion controllers and soil sensors. Yep, plants have a say in how the instrument is played!

It’s an interactive musical installation called “Three Pieces”, that’s our attempt to create something in keeping with the natural environment of the beautifully restored Victorian Palm House in the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. Rather than use computers and a PA, we decided to try and build something completely acoustic. In the end, we’ve got a traditional Chinese dulcimer and 12 chimes spread throughout the plants and foliage of the Palm House. The instruments are played robotically, controlled by two Arduinos.

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HOW TO – Make plants talk! They’ll Twitter you when they need to be watered (and more)…

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.

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