The Motion Control Bluetooth BeatBox

The Motion Control Bluetooth BeatBox

Gregory Han
Dec 8, 2011

If the geek and DIY maker genes runs strong in your blood, you've probably already heard of Arduino kits, the open-source electronics platform base for all sort of software+hardware tomfoolery. Justin Livi, an Interactive Design & Art major at the Maryland Institute College of Art, built himself a unique digital instrument of sorts, combining Arduino circuitry with Bluetooth connectivity for a motion controlled drum sequencer...sort of a digital maraca. Confused? Watch the vid below...

The project begins to explore how explorations in three dimensional space can be translated to a two dimensional screen and a musical landscape. Unlike standard music sequencers BeatBox plays like a musical instrument; there's no chance for the user to preprogram a set sequence. Additionally, only advanced users will be able to recreate a specific sequence of sounds because it takes very tight motor control and kinesthetic memory to be able to pinpoint different sounds on time. The learning curve for playing the BeatBox compared to playing an instrument is drastically reduced however, as any basic movement produces a variety of noises all guaranteed to be in time.

The "instrument" is powered by a single 9V battery, and the performer's movements are mirrored on screen, providing visual feedback as the BeatBox is played. More about this project and other art+interactive projects over at

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