Modular Percussion

Modular percussion instruments can be configured to play a wide variety of instruments and sonic objects. The first version, CADI, was developed by EMMI. Numerous iterations have been developed by the MPR Lab since 2012.


Experiment in Augmentation 1 (2017) – Scott Barton

Water Rhythm and Light (2016) – Scott Barton

Intersections (2015) – Scott Barton

Human-Robot Improvisation (2013 – present) – Scott Barton

Rise of a City (2009) – Scott Barton


P. Carvalho (2016). Next Generation Percussion Arms.


An automatic recorder-playing instrument. An on-board air compressor drives the air flow, controlled by a solenoid valve, into the recorder. Solenoids control elastic bands that open and close tone holes. Developed in 2014-2015.



A harmonium from the 1890’s that was rejuvenated. Solenoid mechanisms actuate individual pitches while stepper motors operate the bellows. The project began in 2015 and is currently being developed.


P. Carvalho and N. Hughes (2016). Automated HarmoniumMusical Robotics Practicum.