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Music recorded optically on paper, played by a robot that drives over it
This is a fusion of several previously separate ideas: [doctorremulac3]'s Lissajous Pattern Record Grooves, Record Runner, turtle robots and specifically Pen-Dragon, Panapic, and optical sound storage [links].
The player is a small mobile robot that can drive around omnidirectionally* on a flat surface.
Music comes in the form of sheets of paper or plastic film, up to table-size, as well as pages in books. On these sheets and pages is printed a multicolored, high-resolution pattern that encodes analog music.
There are actually two kinds of robot that can be used in this system: electronic and mechanical.
The electronic kind looks at the pattern underneath it with a camera, and can follow the grid lines of the pattern using machine vision to play predefined tracks on the sheet by decoding the colors and brightnesses that pass under the center of its field of vision into sound. Certain markings, perhaps marks printed with a specific color of ink or
perhaps spaces around/between marks, encode movement instructions so that tracks can be bent. The robot can also be programmed to follow other arbitrary paths with precision (still using the same vision system), and play the sounds it passes over.
The mechanical kind has only a single-point color/brightness sensor (which, along with its sound output, motor, and edge-of-sheet-detection system, is still electronic), and is guided around the sheet by some kind of hand-configurable mechanical motion sequencer, double pendulum, harmonograph, or other complex motion generation mechanism that can have its behavior varied from one run to the next. This causes it to play parts of the music out of sequence and in different directions, which is expected to be somewhat interesting to some people. Without a vision system, it will drift on and off of tracks, producing interesting sounds. The mechanical programming (or at least variable adjustment) makes this kind of robot's operation more tactile and also more interesting to watch, with the mechanism exposed.
*This is a departure from the turtle inspiration. Turtles usually move forward or turn to another direction in preparation to move forward. But I thought omnidirectional movement with no need to turn would work better here.
Lissajous Pattern Record Grooves
by [doctorremulac3]. One of the inspirations for this idea. [notexactly, Oct 01 2019]
YouTube: Techmoan: Record Runner
One of the inspirations for this idea. A device that drives around on top of a normal vinyl record, dragging a needle, to play it. [notexactly, Oct 01 2019]
a sound car
by [wjt]. A slightly updated reinvention of the Record Runner. [notexactly, Oct 01 2019]
Wikipedia: Turtle (robot)
One of the inspirations for this idea. A class of educational robot that typically drives forward or turns, while dragging a pen, to make drawings. [notexactly, Oct 01 2019]
One of the inspirations for this idea. A Lego Technic mechanically-sequenced turtle robot that draws a dragon curve (a type of fractal) on a large sheet of paper. [notexactly, Oct 01 2019]
YouTube: Techmoan: Panapic
One of the inspirations for this idea. A small inverted record player that you place on top of a grooved record embedded in a book page to hear the sounds associated with the page's text or visual content. [notexactly, Oct 01 2019]
Wikipedia: Optical sound
One of the inspirations for this idea. Storage of analog sound on printed media for optical playback. [notexactly, Oct 01 2019]
by [MaxwellBuchanan]. NOT one of the inspirations for this idea, but very applicable to it: printing optical sound using a consumer inkjet printer, with color used to separate left/right channels. I actually only saw it in the category peek thing at the top right after submitting this idea. [notexactly, Oct 01 2019]
||That's cool ... watching the device move along the x, y, z and t axes will be a great talking point and certain to break the ice at parties.
||The larger versions will need to be powerful and heavy enough to crush anything in their path. The design of the PzKpfw VI Ausf. E could be repurposed, although this would require the table to be proportionately scaled up and strengthened. It would probably not then fit in a typical suburban living room, so an expansion of "Lebensraum" would be needed, ironically a task for which the PzKpfw VI Ausf. E was specifically designed.