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The Robotune is the world’s first fully automatic six-string guitar tuner. It is fast, accurate, and portable.

WHAT IS THE ROBOTUNE? 


The Robotune is a patented fully automatic six-string guitar tuner. Other automatic guitar tuners out there today either only tune one string at a time, or they must be built into the guitar itself, thus altering it. The Robotune on the other hand, tunes all the strings at once and is non-invasive. In every way, it was designed with ease-of-use and guitar friendliness in mind. 

It can be used for almost any type of guitar and in any environment, even very noisy ones. It is the fastest, most accurate, and most versatile guitar tuner available today. 

It can be used on a guitar stand, guitar hanger or simply laid on the table.

Fig.1  Setting Up
Fig.1 Setting Up

The Robotune represents the next step in the evolution of guitar tuning. Until now, the basic options available for tuning a guitar were by ear, using a tuning fork, pitch pipe or electronic tuner. With its portability and superb functionality, the Robotune is a game-changer. 

Create and Develop

Tuning a guitar quickly and accurately is always a challenge for most guitar players especially for beginners. Even though the electronic tuner helps accurately tune a guitar, the guitarist must still tune by hand and therefore only tune the guitar one string at a time. This procedure requires the guitarist to tune the strings twice because when they tune the last string, the previous strings' tension is changed as a result. However, the Robotune tunes six strings at once and stops tuning only once all strings are in perfect tune.  

Several years ago, there was an automatic motor tuning tool, which only tuned electric guitars one string at a time. This was much slower than the electronic tuner. Although the automatic motor tuner was a great leap from manual tuning, it was still not good enough.  Recently, there is a device on the market that can do the six string tuning job, but it needs to be installed onto the guitar, which is very inconvenient. On the other hand, the Robotune is a tuning tool that does not require any alteration to the guitar. 

As a tuning tool,

  • You don't need to modify your valuable guitar. 

  • If you have more than one similar guitar, you will only need one Robotune. 

  • The Robotune helps guitar players, musicians and music techs to easily tune their guitars.

  • It not only helps tune the guitar, but also helps maintain the guitar. Since it is always advisable to de-tune your guitar after use for best long-term maintenance, simply press the de-tune button when you’re done playing and the Robotune will loosen all strings to reduce half of the tension.Therefore, it helps ensure that your guitar and strings have a long, healthy life of making music. 

  • It helps guitar stores set up display guitars day by day with ease, in order to let customers test the perfect sound of guitars.

  •  It helps tuning services in repair shops tune guitars much quicker, which in turn, decreases the amount of time spent on each guitar. 

  • It definitely helps the manufacturers to lower labour cost and enhance quality control. 

  • If you are a university student in computer science or a robot hobbyist, this could be your wonderful learning and research project. This is a 6D robot with closed loop system. 

In the first 3 years of the project we have:

  • Started to research an automatic tuning guitar system.

  • Designed a structure of hardware.

  • Designed I/Os and system architecture.

Fig 2: System Schematic
Fig 2: System Schematic
  • Designed and set up a computer system to program software.

  • Designed the tuning process, and program software.  


Fig 3: Tuning Process
Fig 3: Tuning Process

  • Selected and tested many kinds of pickups and sensors, as well as invented the optical transducer array as a sensor. 

  • Made a prototype of guitar tuning case which can automatically tune a guitar with the lid closed. 


Fig 4: First Prototype
Fig 4: First Prototype
  • Tested marketing and received several orders from guitar manufacturers.   

  • Then designed and made several sets of automatic tuning guitar systems (industry model).

  • The marketing reaction is amazing, but the cost is too high for most guitar players. To reduce the cost we must mass produce but, first we need to patent it. Fortunately, we have received the patent in the United States.



About the patent

The major aspect of the tuning device was the invention of an optical transducer array as a sensor. Therefore, the six string signals won't be affected by each other or noises caused by surroundings. The system uses multiple Micro-Controller Units to deal with the data from each string independently and then communicates together for perfect tuning. Thus, they have enough time to deal with more swift changing data. In turn, this has resulted in the most advanced and accurate tuning software in the world, making Robotune the best on the market.

Fig 5: USA Patent of the Robotune
Fig 5: USA Patent of the Robotune

In the past 18 months we have:

  • Developed a smaller portable version of the automatic tuning guitar system for most guitarists to use.

  • Finished prototype tested and ready to mass produce.

  • Searched suppliers and manufacturers for production. 

  • Selected and tested the electronic components, motors and hardware.

  • Selected the MCU (micro controller unit) 

  • Designed the power supply and rechargeable battery for the Robotune.

  • Tested software and installed it into the MCU.

  • Assembly and tested several electronic circulate samples.

  • Designed the case, including outside appearance and interior structure.The following computer image is the first version of the Robotune.

Fig 6: Computer image
Fig 6: Computer image

  • Designed and made PCB (print circuit boards).

  • Pre-assembly the electronic circuit boards, cables and hardware. 

Fig 7: Print Circuit Board
Fig 7: Print Circuit Board
 
  • Hand made a set of plastic module of the case and components.  

  • Tested whole sample. 

  • Fixed the issues and developed the design.  

  • Designed, made and tested plastic molds for the overall design of the product.

  • Assembly of some units and tested further.

  • The Robotune was born!


Fig 8: Robotune
Fig 8: Robotune
  • Attended in 2013 NAMM show in California.


Fig 9: Robotune at NAMM conference
Fig 9: Robotune at NAMM conference

  • Assembled the Robotunes upon the orders, tested and delivered to the customers.


Fig 9: Robotune in testing phase
Fig 9: Robotune in testing phase

  • Specific designs and tested several  industry guitar tuning system for  guitar manufacturers.

Fig 10: Inventor of Robotune
Fig 10: Inventor of Robotune

  • Prepared and went on Dragon’s Den. This project was offered by 4 Dragons including Kevin O'leary, who is also on a similar show based out of the USA called "Shark Tank".


 

HOW DOES THE ROBOTUNE WORK? 

The Robotune is unbelievably easy to operate (see following videos). It tunes to standard tuning and flat tuning. The Robotune has three buttons: one to activate, one to change the tuning, and one to stop or de-tune (loosen) the strings. It was designed with ease-of-use and guitar friendliness in mind. 

  • Place the neck of your guitar into the neck-hold and close it.

  • Attach the tuners onto the guitar tuner head.

  • Press the activate button, strum the strings for only a few seconds.

  • The green LED lights on the panel let you know when it is finished and  will automaticly stop tuning.

Fig 11: Robotune Panel
Fig 11: Robotune Panel

A real-time demonstration of how the Robotune works:

 

    Production Plan

    In the upcoming months our major goals are:

            October

  • Looking for assembly plant.

    November  

  • Set up the assembly line, work stations and test equipment.

  • Order parts from China, Taiwan and Japan. (after the close of Kickstarter)

  • Pre-assemble in China.  

  • Order the accessories, such as T-shirts etc.

  • Print logo and certificates. 

  • Complete plan to phase in assembly 

    December 

  • Drawing assembly processes chart block. Begin light assembly.

  • Assemble and test the present inventory. 

  • Carve the unique number onto the cases.

  • Package the products accordingly. Final checking and delivery of the rewards. 

    January 

  • Arrange the shipping of next order from overseas.

  • Specifically design and build the industry model for the manufacturer.  

    February

  • Continue shipping the parts from overseas.

  • Adjust the assembly process and develop the test equipment. 

    March

  • Continue receiving the rest of the orders.

  •  Assembly and testing of the new order.  

  • Full scale assembly of the new order.

  • Test all the Robotunes including a burning test.

    April 

  • Final check and package. Ship the rewards accordingly.

THE FUTURE OF THE ROBOTUNE 

With support from Kickstarter, we will be able to bring the Robotune to guitar players around the globe. We plan to do this in several ways:

  • Lowering the costs of manufacturing by being able to mass produce. This will also allow us to send a Robotune to our backers at a lower price. 

  • Attending music trade shows in 2014-2015 to present the Robotune. 

  • Offset manufacturing and travel costs for pitching and presenting samples of the Robotune to music schools, retailers, manufacturers.

  •  We can go further to research and apply the technology of automatic tuners to other stringed musical instruments, such as bass guitar, 12 string guitar, violin and piano etc..

By backing the Robotune, you will be facilitating no less than a revolution in tuning technology. 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Most of the risks have already been overcome. The backers should realize that the shipping date may be delayed due to the parts from overseas, but we will do our best to fulfill the rewards on time. Since the Robotune is completely unique and a brand new innovation globally, we face the challenge of compatibility to so many different kinds of guitars. At this stage, the Robotune can work for most guitars in the market. However, if some one plays a very unique guitar, we encourage you send us pictures of your guitar before you back us. We will tell you if our product can work for your guitar or not. The Robotune can tune most Classic Guitars, but you may have to hold the Robotune in place as a stand/holder for these types of guitars has not yet been developed. We are designing these devices now and will be available for the next mass production to be delivered in April, 2014.

In the future, the Robotune may also be further developed to fit a larger variety of guitars and other musical instruments. Additional features are currently unavailable, such as greater choice in tunings for professional musicians. The technology is there but the challenge now is to fund the next stage of mass production in order to continue the development and lower the cost to users worldwide.

FAQ

  • Two. One with 6 tuners on one side which called is the Unilateral model. And one with 3 tuners on each side which is called the Bilateral model. The Bilateral model can only be used for folk guitars. If you want to use for a classic guitar, please back on $139 to be delivered in April, 2014. 

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  • Yes! The Robotune is ideal for anyone at any level. From beginners to professionals, it allows guitar players to get playing faster and with the knowledge that their guitar is flawlessly in tune. 

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  • Each unit comes with a Robotune with your choice of tuner format, a battery charger and a stand holder .

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  • Anywhere! The portable nature of the Robotune allows it to be conveniently packed up and easily transported from venue to venue with no fuss. 

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  • Yes. However, you must let us know before delivery. 

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  • The Robotune comes in two models: Industry model and Player model. The Industry model is designed for manufacturers to tune a guitar frequently from completely loose to in-tune. The Player model requires strings to have a minimal tension within the range of E5 to E2. The parts in the two models are designed with their eventual usage in mind and are therefore different.

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  • Typically before guitar manufacturers send out their final product, their guitars are tuned by hand. This can lead to a great deal of inaccuracy and is intense labour. The Robotune can save time, labour, and improve precision and quality. 

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  • Width – 10cm x Height – 6cm x Length – 17cm   

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  • The Robotune is powered by a rechargeable battery specially made for the Robotune. The input of the charger is from 110v ac to 240v ac. 

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  • The limited edition Robotunes has a number from (No. 001-030) carved into the body with a certificate signed by the inventor.  We can carve the backer's name on it per request. Whoever backs it  earlier gets to choose what number they would like in the remaining chosen range. There is only one of each number in the world. 

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