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This project involves the design and build of a robotic violin player for use in high schools teaching ICT. There are a number of different approaches to this problem. A commercially available robotic violin moves the bow across the strings, much like a human player. Another approach could involve the design of a 2-link robotic arm to strike the bow over the selected string (G, D, A or E). String selection could be achieved by tilting the violin.
The note to be played could be produced by placing one of 4 mechanical fingers on the fingerboard. Force feedback sensors might be used to control the amount of pressure exerted on the strings. It may be possible to generate vibrato by generating a small-amplitude vibration of the wrist. Suitable motion control systems need to be designed for all actuated elements (digital tracking systems). A pneumatically actuated solution of the hand problem is shown below.
It might be possible to extend the project to include an image recognition front-end that will take cues from a conductor.
Supported by NICTA and Maxon