MR.D (Mobile Robotic Drummer, aka “Sparky” the Information Society robot) is an Arduino-based, expandable, hackable musical robot. This energetic little re-programmable robot features a sleek appearance, DC gear motor driven wheels, two servo driven striking arms, a distance sensor, buttons, and a multi-color LED indicator light.
Out of the box, it can play rhythmic patterns on the floor, walls, and any objects placed in its patch, move around avoiding objects, navigate sonic obstacle courses, entertaining children, pets, and adults alike. With an Arduino Nano at its core, it can be easily reprogrammed via USB connection to your PC, Mac, or Linux computer. Drawing from a wealth of freely available online code examples from the global Arduino community, users can creatively expand the mobile drumming robot’s capabilities. MR.D’s custom printed circuit board has slots for microphone inputs, speaker output, wireless control board (for control via joystick and/or MIDI from your favorite software such as Ableton Live, Logic, Max, PD, GarageBand, etc.), additional sensors, and more, which will be available in the near future as expansion packs.
This robot was originally commissioned by Information Society, and 100 are currently being produced for the band’s fans. Since parts orders are currently being placed for this small production run, pre-orders are now being taken for delivery in December (just in time for holiday gifts for family and friends!). MR.D makes a great first robot and offers a fun and educational platform for learning about electronics, robotics, microcontrollers, code, music composition and more; while also offering plenty to play with for the seasoned roboticist.