Drum machine from recyclables


We make a garbage band – but not a stinky band! By reusing thrown out household things like empty cans and bottles along with a few tricks combining electronic components like Arduino microcomputers some soldering and a breadboard, we teach children how to make music with electronics.


We will let children try to obtain an artistic musical expression, while underlining that one does not have to be a geek to have fun with computers and electronics – it is for anyone who has an interest.


So there exists a quite funny electronic thing called a ‘solenoid’. One knows it very well from examples of controlling a pin that locks and opens your car door. It is really a metallic pin inside an electromagnet, and when one places voltage across the electromagnet the pin is drawn in, and when one removes the voltage, a hard spring makes the pin to jump out again. If the pin hits a surface (like an old tomato-can), it makes a sound! Cool !


If we control the solenoid from a computer with a bit of programming, then we have a physical drum-machine.. very cool!

The children will transform aluminium foil into a piano keyboard, using a technology called capacitive sensing. We will use this keyboard to control the solenoids hitting various materials and textures like metal, plastic, glass, wood… in short: Drums.

Check out this video Solenoid Drum Machine or this one “Acoustic Sequencing @Strøm Festival Copenhagen where we transform a camper into a small physical electro-band during the Scandinavian festival for electronic music Strøm.

The robotic percussion instruments will be organized in 4 “drum” kits. Each mounted on a separate wooden board for easy storage and transportation.


What will the children learn?

The kids get to try to solder (because it’s cool), play robot drums on weird garbage (because it is a lot of fun), and most important of all, hopefully meet someone they didn’t know in advance with whom they can share a good moment and maybe begin a new friendship, with no regards to cultural or financial background.


Is it expensive?

We will bring everything needed for the workshop from Copenhagen, because we have limited time in Rio. Please see the enclosed budget for the materials.
A good example of reused electronics is our project D.O.R.T.H.E