Say Hello To MechBass, The Robot That Plays Bass Guitar

Entertainment Editor

James McVay has designed the MechBass, a bass guitar playing robot, as his engineering honors project at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. You can watch it hold down the bottom end in the video below, in which it plays Muse’s “Hysteria”. Pfft, it’s using guitar picks. Call me when this loser masters the slap bass. (Also, have it tell me how it mastered the slap bass, because I sure as hell haven’t.)

McVay posted a .pdf regarding his design and implementation here, and Hack A Day posted a summary. Here are just a few bullet points:

  • He designed everything in Solidworks with lasercut or 3D-printed parts, and the control board is a custom design based on the ATMega328.
  • It uses an optical pickup instead of a magnetic pickup, due to electromagnetic noise from all of the actuators.
  • The stepper motor for each pickwheel has a servo which can make it pivot to adjust the volume.
  • Each string has a felt-covered arm connected a servo for damping the string.
  • It has three power supplies totaling 750 W.
  • It owns the van, so you better not kick him out of the band.

This MechBass should form a rock band with the robot drummer and Spruce Deuce. And then Val Kilmer could bust in and destroy all these damn dirty robots with a chainsaw.

[Destructoid Guitar Hero by Harrison Krix.]

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