Instructables

Making Music with Makeblock

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Makeblock is an aluminum extrusion based construction system that provides an integrated solution for aspects of mechanics, electronics and software design. With Makeblock you can make professional robots, toy machines or even art-ware. It's super easy-to-use and helps bring your creations to life. The only limit is your imagination.

For more information, please visit Makeblock website listed below:
www.makeblock.cc

The Music Robot was built with the timing belt, sliding rail, step motor, electromagnet, motor driver and an Arduino Uno. And even you can build a play the piano robot with Makeblock by yourself.


So far the robot can be controlled by application via USB cable installed on computer, and it can also be controlled by the Smartphone through the Bluetooth. The special application for Android Phone is in planning.

Getting Started
This instructable, Making Music with Makeblock, will show you the step-by-step instructions on how to build a robot to play the Xylophone by Makeblock.
Now let's have some fun!
 
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Step 1: Materials list

Materials list:
1 × Beam 0808-144
3 × Beam 0824-64
7 × Beam 0824-80
4 × Beam 0824-96
1 × Beam 0824-128
4 × Bracket 3×3
1 × Bracket P3
1 × Step Motor Bracket
2 × Timing Pulley 90T
4 × Timing Pulley Slice 90T
1 × Link Rod
1 × Rubber band
2 × Slider 496
1 × Timing Belt
8 × Bearing for Slider
4 × Flange Bearing 4×8×3mm
1 × Shaft Connector 4mm
2 × Threaded Shaft 4×31mm
2 × Shaft Collar 4mm
2 × Headless Screw M3×5
2 × Copper Stud M4-15
12 × Plastic Rivet R4120
4 × Plastic Rivet R3075
2 × Countersunk Screw M3×8
14 × Screw M4×8
49 × Screw M4×14
8 × Screw M4×22
26 × Nut M4

Electronic Modules List:
1 × Arduino
1 × Acrylic Arduino Bracket
1 × Me – Motor Driver
1 × Limit Switch
1 × Step Motor
1 × Step Motor Controller
1 × Solenoid - 12v
1 × Wall Adapter Power Supply - 12VDC
Jumper Wires

Xylophone:
1 × Xylophone
1 × Xylophone Hammer
edurobo2 months ago

Hi we buy it recently after construction it programming getting error please let me know where i will get full working code/procedure for the same that will be great help me

Machine6 months ago

Very nicely made. Love it.

wnoskray9 months ago
Where is the PC application used to control the robot? It's not available from the link in the description.
Makerworks (author)  wnoskray7 months ago
Hi, wnoskray, I'm sorry for the link unavailable. You can download the program here: http://blog.makeblock.cc/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/MusicRobot-V2.0.zip
GastonLagaffe9 months ago
Salut,
I got the new version of this kit. The materials list is different:
- the solenoid mounting is different (seems upside down now) and no mounting material is provided
- the arduino is connected through the ME Base Shield
- the connections are provided using RJ11 cables
- M4x8 and M4x22 screws are missing (bad luck if you are in the US, luckily I am in Germany)
There is NO documentation on how to connect the electronics. The kit is a real beauty, the documentation and guide the exact opposite.
Would be nice to provide at least the cabling and a drawing on the solenoid mounting
Makerworks (author)  GastonLagaffe7 months ago
Hi,

Gaston, I'm very sorry for the screws missing, could you supply your email for contact and we can make up for you? And, the electronics connection was shown on step 9, if you need more information, you could visit http://wiki.makeblock.cc/index.php/Product, we have update our electronics documentation.
Robot Melvis11 months ago
Those parts look expensive. What does it cost for all the parts? $500? $1000? Couldn't one save a whole lot of money using wood?
Makerworks (author)  Robot Melvis10 months ago
It may cost about 200$, now it is 159.99$ in the onlin store end to October 9th.
See more details here.
This is inspiring.
What is the difference between a step motor and a servo? Is one more accurate and is one better cost and is one better at moving a weight?
A servo is a DC motor that turns an internal sensor to determine position. You send it pulses of a specific width and it moves until it's internal sensor matches that width as closely as possible. You must send a constant stream of pulses to maintain the position.

A stepper has a series of magnetic poles arranged in a polar array N-S-N-S etc... and a set of coils set up as a N-S and a S-N pair. when a coil is energized, it moves into position to the closest opposite magnetic field. As the coils are stepped (hence the name) the motor advances to the next position. A stepper only needs a change when you want it to move... so a contant stream of commands is not required. The down side is that it constantly draws poer. However, because it will always return to the exact same spot, they are more accurate than the traditional servos.

There is another type of servo called a quadrature servo, but this us usually not used in a small hobby application. You will however find them in larger CNC machines. These are given a STEP and DIRECTION signal... every time the STEP signal is pulsed it advances one position which is based on an optical encoder and electronics package. Encoders are available up to 1000 steps per revolution. You can research GECKODRIVE for more on these, or look at the encoders found at US DIGITAL.

Hope that helps,
Jerry
Thanks everyone, the info really does help- a lot. I'm a total noob in electronics.

The information sparks a new question-
If I wanted to have 4 motors that act as pillars of a small platform to angle or level it, and i was using an micro controller (arduino), are the commands going to be done sequentially, or uniformly? because it sounds like a servo would move the first motor, then move the second only after the first is done and held in position because of the 'pulse' concept. Is this true?
And is this true for step motors too? and quadrature.. but if quadratures are used in cnc... i would think they would have to all work in unison or they couldn't get a diagonal path in 3 dimensions.
Servo - the pulses could be sent in rapid succession, normally there is a 14 mS delay between pulses on a single servo... but if you do them sequentially, all the servos would appear to move in unison.

Stepper - You would set the bit mask for the direction and another bit mask for the pulses... fire them out in parallel. That is how software such as EMC2 works.
I appreciate your incite, thanks for sharing it helps me a lot in learning how this stuff behaves.
Of course if you come from an industrial background then what you describe in your first paragraph would be refered to as an RC servo of hobby servo. What you describe in your last paragraph would described as a digital servo. The motor could be AC or DC. The command pulses could be Direction and Step or Quadrature (two square waves 90 degrees out of phase). The encoder is often built into the motor, can be quadrature or absolute, and could have up to hundreds of thousands of pulses per revolution. Those units are much more precise than hobby servos, more reliable than steppers (they don't slip when overloaded), much MUCH faster than hobby servos and steppers, work on high voltage and are outrageously expensive.

If you want to see some you could look here:
http://www.meau.com/eprise/main/sites/public/Products/Servo_Systems/default
The Linear Servos are pretty cool. They are like a solenoid with constant force, with virtually unlimited stroke. So you could do the xylophone slide with no belt. Mitsubishi has ones that can produce 60N (~13 Lbf) up to ones that can produce up to 18000N (~4000 Lbf).

I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Gordie.
My CNC mill has DC motors... I added a quadrature 500 line encoder and a Geckodrive for each motor. You then tie two lines to the parallel port for each... step and direction. If you set direction high and pulse the step it goes clockwise... change the direction to a low and each pulse will drive it counterclockwise.

Pretty simple to control... and as you stated, they don't miss steps.
TheGreatS1 year ago
Is a piano next? ;)
This "makeblock" is just T-slot framing for wimps. Real T-slot hardly even costs more, either, looking at the prices.
GordieGii1 year ago
One word: MIDI
norfintork1 year ago
Very nice! It would be handy if MakeBlock would post which base kit comes closest to providing the required parts and then a differential list as well.
Does anyone have a good site for the materials?
This is amazing!
How much will it cost me to buy the parts
armstk1801 year ago
This is very great idea ! Nice !
I have seen this technology in Epson ink color printer
can you tell me where do you buy this plastic stuff to making your needed chassis ? it looks like is so fast , flexible , easy way to making chassis
Makerworks (author)  armstk1801 year ago
The stuff is aluminum, not plastic. You can see more details about it here(http://makeblock.cc/). They have distributors in several counctries, you can find the distributors here(http://makeblock.cc/distributors/).
Stone20131 year ago
It's very cool,I like it!!
Honus1 year ago
Awesome!!
HollyMann1 year ago
wow cool - :) Technology is amazing