Look Ma! No Hands! Nintendo Classics Play the Piano

Who needs fingers when you have ingenuity? Watch the piano play tunes from various legendary games.

News by Cassandra Khaw, .

Like, actually watch the piano play it. Not watch some limber-fingered dude(ette) address the keys like a long-lost lover. Watch the piano. Play itself.

Don't you love technology?

(If you like, you can also stare admiringly at the autonomous percussion kit too.)

According to Hack a Day, a rather mysterious cat called David had recently taken it upon himself to develop his own live robot band. It's not chock-full of animatronic androids, unfortunately. Nonetheless, he succeeded in rigging it up so that keys will move when and where appropriate. Sadly, while it seems to be all but customary these days, David did not provide anything in the way of 'how-to-do-this-yourself' instructions.

For those curious about the technical nuances, here's an excerpt from the youtube description:

The piano and the percussion use solenoids to drive their player mechanisms. The piano uses Yamaha's Disklavier system to strike keys, and the percussion uses a custom solution to strike the drum sticks. Both the piano and percussion are each controlled by Raspberry Pis which have custom software to control each instrument. The software is responsible for translating the gameplay audio to instructions which ultimately define which solenoid should be actuated. In full disclosure, there is normally a half-second audio delay that was removed in editing, but it's still very playable live. The piano is controlled through the Disklavier's MIDI interface, while the percussion's solenoids are directly controlled through the Pi's GPIO interface.

As much as I enjoyed the actual playlist itself and the knowledge that some mad technical skills were involved in its conception, what I really like is how his system is rigged up to account for the movements of the characters as well. Even if it makes the overall tune sound a tad dissonant, that's still kind of awesome.

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 5