MIDI Ironing Boards and Theremin Frog Rhythms

The Handmade Music exhibition took place last night at Etsy Labs in New York, and featured Ranjit Bhatnagar’s innovative heat-sensitive MIDI ironing board controller, amongst many other odd things. He devised a way to allow MIDI signals to be triggered by temperature, and the gradual cooling of different areas of the board creates unusual trailing effects…

The inventor described the device to Wired magazine: “When it’s wired up directly to a synthesizer, it’s kind of like a bunch of musicians jamming on a dark, foggy night — different sounds fade in and out as the various regions of the board heat up and cool down again.”

This isn’t Bhatnagar’s only bizarre musical contraption, however – he also built a robot called Lev that plays the theremin and bangs a frog with Thumpbot. If you thought that robots playing a theremin and banging a frog couldn’t perform a delightful rendition of, for example, Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, then you’d be perfectly wrong – as this video demonstrates.

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