Sound Maze

The Motors & Music module was an exploration of the role of haptics and sound in interaction design. During this one week course we were introduced to the science behind motorized haptic technologies and to various ways of synthesising sound programmatically. In the end we were given the task of creating a haptic sound instrument which requires a minimum of two persons to interact with it in order to play music.

In this spirit, we made the Sound Maze, a two player musical instrument which provides haptic feedback. The players would need to feel the tension and virtual “notches” in the slider and try to match their notes with each other to create harmonious tones. The more incongruous the movements, the more discordant the music would be.

We used two sliders, mounted over DC motors, moving which would generate musical notes. A rotary disk was coupled with the movement and relative positions of the sliders, the musical notes and the rotation of the disk would change based on the position of the sliders. The sliders also provided haptic feedback based on their relative position.

A DIY microcontroller board was used to map the haptic forces. The board was based on Teensy and was running code based on a custom synthesiser library.