“Squaremin ” name thanks to Collin Cunningham from his post at blog.makezine.com, this project is also featured on engadget.com. This battery powered electronic musical instrument is a descendant of the theremin and can be played without contact from the musician. This small instrument contains two infared (IR) sensors that measure proximity. One sensor controls the note, while the other controls the octave that is played through the speaker in the front. The tone is reflected by one of seven colors that illuminates the center area and highlights a small indicator located on the top panel.
The instrument can play seven octaves each of notes C – B, C ranging between 65 hz – 4160 hz. The notes are being generated based on some code from the arduino site. It’s not incredibly accurate, but gets the job done.
The instrument utilizes two short range Sharp IR sensors (GP2D120). This article clarifies just about everything pertaining to these sensors.
One of the most challenging parts was the time-line, to be completed in a week and also fitting everything in without time to build custom pcb boards. I utilized a boot-loaded atmega chip in a breadboard and more info can be found at mapduino.com. Here is the source code if anyone feels like putting one together.
Recently I put together a digital to analog converter (DAC) based on this tutorial from make.com, so that I could get these sounds into my computer. The tute was straight-forward and easy and it works like a gem. Sorry this pic looks like crap, it was taken with my iPhone cam.