Benjamin Gullard
Devin Curry

Percussion Kitchen

The Percussion Kitchen is an electronic musical instrument that unlocks the hidden rhythmic potential of household cooking items.

Introduction to Physical Computing

For a physical computing final, Devin Curry and I plan on creating a housing for a metal cheese grater that will have various solenoids strike it in different places and be able to be played through an 8-button control device.

Devin and I have come up with an instrument device that seems like it will combine both of our interests (mine being a physical output that creates sound) and using an interface that will allow a person who is not used to using a physical instrument use a set number of buttons to create many different sounds. With this sketch, we've set a series of solenoids across the various parts of the cheese grater to strike it in various positions, plus a servo to swing a metal rod against the "grating" side of the grater. We also are planning on using two solenoids to push up a rubber dampener to the base of the grater to create a different sound.

Music makers and music lovers will enjoy creating rhythms from the familiar kitchen objects.

User Scenario
The user explores the different sounds by tapping 8 different buttons on the controller. Each button is color coded to correspond to a colored LED on the component it triggers. Once the user familiarizes him/herself with the layout, the music making can begin!

The Percussion Kitchen is comprised of two main pieces: the button controller and the instrument itself. The button controller consists of eight arcade buttons that send voltage to control the instrument. The instrument features a metal cheese grater suspended from a wooden frame, and Tupperware containers of different sizes. A series of solenoids and servos are positioned to strike or scrape the surfaces to produce different sounds. A final pair of solenoids deploy foam dampeners to control the resonance of the cheese grater's sounds.