I wanted to design a way to visualize music. This resulted in a colorful ring which reacts to MIDI input. I embedded it in a retro-style clock casing. Each note has their own color, chords will have their own combination of colors. The lights appear fast and then fade out slowly. Inside is a microcontroller which takes the MIDI input and drives the LED ring.
As a child, I enjoyed recording my voice and changing the playback. I wanted to recreate this way of playing with sound. This playground equipment for children aged 8 to 12 does just that. Standing on the elevation you can record your voice which is then played back repeatedly. The sound can then be adjusted with the buttons which are placed at different postitions. It encourages playing together; recording your voice together and trying to find a funny combination of effects to change it. I created a fully working model and tested it with children, they loved it!
The Huygens-Fokker Foundation owns a microtonal organ from 1950, based on the theory of the 31-tone system by Christiaan Huygens. I helped adding MIDI output to their practice keyboard with 319 keys. For this I designing custom brackets to hold the microswitches. Nylon washers slide along the switches for a frictionless handling.
I wanted to create an object to play intuitively with a sound recording. I adapted a 'Voicebox' gadget to accept an ultrasonic distance sensor as input. The pitch is adjusted by changing the distance between your hand and the device. I designed and 3D printed the case, it fits in your hand nicely. A microcontroller reads the ultrasonic distance sensor and controls a digital potentiometer.
Listen to a recording of my Robotphone being transformed by the Voicebox
Already in 2009 I designed a charger for electric cars, meant for the public road. Hereby I first concentrated on the usage; the position of the controls and the logical sequence of actions. Then I found a matching shape that is easy to produce and ensures a solid housing. It can also be placed without a pedestal against a wall, which can be useful in parking garages, for example.
At a dump store I found a Lafayette ComPhone from 1976. The shape and controls immediately prompted many ideas. I have built in a Speakjet chip, with which sounds of letters can be generated to form words. It sounds more like a robot than a human being and that is what makes it so much fun. All controls are connected to a microcontroller and can be reprogrammed how I want.
Listen to a selection of programmed presets on my Robotphone
I have always found a theremin a special musical instrument. The floating sound and the operation without touching it really make it unique. I found a 1967 Graetz Page radio at a flea market, the dual antenna is perfect for a theremin. The schematic is based on a PAiA Theremax, I etched the circuit board myself. The sound is somewhat raw because the speakers influence the electronics, but that actually makes it even more beautiful.
I've always been a fan of Jim Henson's work, he was able to bring puppets to life like no one else. I made this fleece hand puppet with great pleasure. The eyes are parts of a plastic painter's palette. I used a knitting needle to control the hand. I already have several fabrics for the next hand puppet. And I have a lot of ideas like adding electronics for more types of movement.
Why turn off the lights using a switch when you can shoot them off. I have a broken down Nintendo NES Zapper with which I can now control a ClickOnClickOff-system. I created a manual how to build one yourself on Instructables. I like given a broken down device a second life by turning it into something else, it's a shame to just throw it away.
This lamp has a atmospheric appearance. It is made of thick paper with a parchment-like structure that is bent and glued. The suspension is part of the same paper because the shape for this is cut and bent. The openings of the suspension ensure that light shines in the other parts of the lamp. Finding the right shape through test models was a nice quest.