Core77 has an interview video with Brit Leissler, who made (and is still making) the Octopulse. From the site:
Brit Leissler, of Shoot the Stylist Studios in London, demonstrates the Octopulse, an experimental instrument designed for Yamaha’s Product Design Laboratory. This little creature has as a goal to turn listeners of music into players of music, which, in practical terms, takes the form of a knitted synthesizer that turns unapproachable technology into an easily approachable, tactile and emotional object. With this cuddly ‘alien bagpipe’ you can control analogue sound synthesis through unconventional means. The ‘tonetacles’ of the Octopulse react to motion and light, transferring movements into information for an analogue synthesizer to convert into cacophonous noises. This unconventional soundscape alters perceptions of what music could be and allows the electronic sounds of a synthesizer to be accessed by anyone.
The next gen Octopulse will be Arduino powered. Oh, I just love tentacled electronics!