The Milwaukee servo electric guitar requires no fretting or even tuning – that work is left to a team of servo motors mounting prominently on the bridge area –

A servoelectric guitar is a fretless guitar that is played by controlling servomotors that change the tension of the strings over an octave or more on a real-time basis. Tuning is maintained by closed loop tension feedback for rapid and predictable response. Relatively small electrical motors and DC servo amplifiers are possible through a novel compensator spring design.


Using the Milwaukee servoelectric guitar design, a servoelectric guitar can be constructed with a relatively modest home workshop having a jigsaw and electric drill and using standard components available from a hardware store, electronic supply catalog, hobbyist websites, and surplus parts dealers. The project is not simple, however. You should have access to basic electronic equipment including a voltmeter and oscilloscope and a good working knowledge of electrical circuitry or friend who has such knowledge. The current prototype was constructed using the additional tools of the table saw, drill press, and power sander.

The design makes for some interesting diving and bending tones – experiemental is an apt description. The instrument would likely pose quite a challenge for traditional applications. A thorough build tutorial is available on the project site.

[via Hacked Gadgets]