For her 2nd birthday, I’m going to build Amelia a digital piano. It will highlight the keys as it plays songs, and then let her play it back by highlighting the next note, and waiting for her to hit it. I’m probably more excited about building it then she will be receiving it, but so it goes at this age πŸ™‚

I’ll be building it using a bunch of fun technologies that I haven’t had a chance to play with yet. The microprocessor will be an Arduino. I’m really excited to play with the Arduino as the breadboard was my favorite part of undergrad EE. If you don’t know much about Arduino, then I’d check out this TED talk from the guy who I think is the founder of the project.

To make the actual piano, I’ll be using a 3D printer. I’ve been scouring the web for open source CAD software, and hopefully (the goal for this week) I’ll have the piano laid out this week. Then, I’m going to have to find a 3D printing company to rent some time and/or order the parts. I’m thinking a baby grand that hides the Arduino, and has 2 octaves worth of keys surrounding middle-C, but we’ll see πŸ™‚

I want to document as I build it so that one day Amelia can see how it was all done, and maybe someone else will pick it up, and build their own. And hopefully you guys will enjoy seeing it go along the way.