Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 15, 2011.

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We want to build a robotic pipe organ that anyone can play and watch over the internet.

Background

Music, science and mathematics have been closely linked since the dawn of time. There's no greater example of this than the pipe organ. Developed around the fifteenth or sixteenth century, they've been a staple in the Western classical music ever since.

But little has changed since then. They've made them smaller and easier to transport, but no one has attached a robot to one even once.

Goal

We want to build a robotic pipe organ that anyone can play and watch over the internet. We will build it out of 25 PVC pipes allowing a full two octaves of notes to be played. Becuase of its inexpensive design, we'll create a set of plans on Instructables.com as well so that anyone can build their own pipe organ as well. We expect to have this done by the end of summer.

What your money will be used for

We'll use the money to fund parts for the organ (including pipes, motors, and electronics), and live broadcast equipment (a netbook). Tools are provided by StudentRND and its volunteers.

Technical Details

The organ will be played with 25 servos opening and closing valves. They will be controlled with a Propeller microprocessor which will interpret input MIDI files. Files can be uploaded via a companion website that will also live-stream the organ playing music so the instrument will be truly accessible to all.

Air will be provided by a high volume centrifugal fan into a windchest, as is common in most pipe organs.

The size will be comparable to a standard upright grand piano, with a MIDI keyboard attached instead of a mechanical one.

Who We Are

We're StudentRND, a student-run nonprofit organization that inspires students to learn more about science and technology. During the summer, we run a workspace where students gather and work on cool science and technology projects. We also partner with local high school robotics teams to offer them a space to work over the summer. Follow our summer adventures at Facebook.com/StudentRND!

FAQ

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  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    Your name or company listed on the website for the robotic pipe organ

  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    12 backers

    The $1 reward, plus a digital download of an album of select music played and recorded on our organ.

  • Pledge $30 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    All of the above, plus a DVD and CD of famous organ and non-organ music recorded on our organ. Run-time will be about 45 minutes to an hour in length and your name in the liner notes.

  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    All of the above, plus 10 minutes of music of your choice recorded in 1080p and a prosumer microphone. This will be a higher quality recording than will ultimately be available on our streaming site. We'll accept either a MIDI file to play, or can make a MIDI file of the song of your choice.

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    5 backers Limited (20 left of 25)

    All of the above, plus your name stenciled on one of the pipes

  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    All of the above, plus name the pipe organ "StudentRND [Your/your company's name here] Pipe Organ"

Funding period

- (26 days)