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Lego Block Detection on Baseplate for Musical Project

Dannyhimself

Nov 6, 2014
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Nov 6, 2014
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Hi all,

i've chosen to do an ambitious project for my final year at university which involves making music from Lego. I have a limited knowledge of electronics but some past experience in the creation of amplifying and audio filter circuits. I wondered if anyone out there would be able to offer some guidance or advice to help me on my way?

My aim is to build a small lego synthesizer for creation of music by children. The lego baseplate will be vital for this. The y axis of the baseplate will be used to represent a different musical note. The x axis of the board is used to represent musical 'beats' or the time each note is played.

I've attached a picture to help explain how the baseplate will be divided. The picture shows a birdseye view of the baseplate with the green squares representing unoccupied sections of baseplate; and the red squares represent a lego brick (2x2) being placed at that location. Here i have a pattern of C-E-G-E.


C04mWh2.png



I wondered if anyone had ideas on the best way to detect the lego bricks on the board? I've toyed with the idea of embedding Light Dependent Resistors in the board that will then be covered when a lego brick is placed, embedding momentary switches over the board which could then be pressed by the placing of a brick and also using a camera on a mount above the board with camera recognition software (which i'd like to avoid).

If anyone has any suggestions or pointers for research they'd be gratefully received. I feel like i must be missing a much simpler solution.

I've also checked the Lego Mindstorms range but as far as i can see there doesn't seem to be much to help me in that range.


Thanks for your time,

Danny.


P.S. Sound synthesis will be handled be an external microcontroller on a development board, having the ability to save created loops and play them over one another to form a song.
 
Last edited:

BobK

Jan 5, 2010
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Jan 5, 2010
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I think the camera based approach would be much more interesting. No need for special LEGOs at all.

Bob
 

Dannyhimself

Nov 6, 2014
2
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Nov 6, 2014
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wow thanks Gryd, i've not seen this before. Its sure to help. I'm sort of leaning towards the camera side as it enables the creative use of colour for different purposes, i'll be sure to look further into it Bob.

Cheers.
 
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