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DrumTop Bangs on Pots and Pans Ubergeek Style

by Noah Kravitz | April 24, 2012April 24, 2012 9:00 pm PST

One time when I was maybe nine I saw the video for Van Halen’s “Jump” on MTV. I spent the rest of that afternoon beating the bejeezus out of pots, pans and empty coffee cans I’d ransacked from the kitchen and decorated to look like a fourth grader’s dime store fantasy of Alex Van Halen’s enormous Ludwigs-and-Rototoms drum set. Ever since then I’ve been mildly obsessed with making music by tapping on everything from real drums to tabletops to computer keyboards.

MIT just took it took the age-old sport of drumming on whatever to the next level.

Engadget’s Zach Honig visited the infamous Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and came back with this video report on DrumTop, a steampunkish drum machine built from repurposed speakers, FSR sensors and random household objects of the sort a nine-year-old could easily crib from the pantry. Looking something like a hotplate for eight, the whole rig is powered by Arduino, the open source electronics platform that’s quickly become one of the more awesome ways to dive into gadget making at home.

Check out Zach’s video below to see DrumTop in action. If you want more, head over to DrumTop’s Vimeo page or dive deep into photos and schematics via this PDF on MIT’s server.


Noah Kravitz

Noah Kravitz mourned the day that Star Castle was replaced in the pizza parlour he frequented as a kid. The sadness ended when he saw an older kid...