Andrew Burks

Tag: Electronics

Tactile Simon Completed

by on Dec.05, 2010, under Personal Projects, Simon

I was able to complete the game of Simon that I was developing for my cousins in time.  The hardest part by far was getting the IR sensors to cooperate.  Here are some photos of the final product, followed by a really artistic video my roommate Mike made for me.


Top Iso

Two versions: Lombardo and Buss

Double Top Iso

Very Bright LEDs

Double Lit Up

Everything Connected to Top Structure

Lid Out

Electronics on the Back


Arduino with Tons of Inputs and Outputs


IR Emitter/Detector Breakout Board

IR Board


MOSFET and Servo

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by on Sep.24, 2010, under RobOrchestra, Robotics Club

As I create content for the RobOrchestra website, I figured I might as well include it here:


This robot is an autonomous xylophone capable of playing chords of up to 5 notes at a time at speeds of up to 20 notes per second. As one of the oldest and most reliable members of the RobOrchestra, Xylobot currently lives in the robotics club.

Xylobot is connected to a car battery and programmed for demo mode. When activated, the robot plays Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” at a normal speed, then repeats the song at twice the speed.


Each of the 17 keys has a small push-type solenoid mounted just beneath it. When 12 volts of electricity passes through a solenoid, it pops up and strikes the key, then falls back down, all in a fraction of a second.


When the Arduino Duemilanove receives a serial command from its master, it parses the 5-10 character string to determine what note it should play. Then, the note is transmitted in binary across five digital outputs to a demux board. This board uses the binary signals to select one of the seventeen notes, then activates the logical line for that note. The MOSFET board allows each logical line to control the higher voltage solenoids with individual MOSFET circuits.


View of Xylobot with the keys removed, exposing the solenoids and electronics:

Electronics boards from right to left: Arduino, Demux, MOSFET

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