Rhythm box

A three-sided percussion instrument

Rhythmbox is a hybrid digital / percussion instrument that allows playing different sound kits, record sequences and distorting them using different gestures. It has been designed to have haptic feedback inherited directly from the box properties and visual feedback through the use of reactive light.


The sound engine is made using Pure Data which is controlled using an Arduino via Firmata protocol.


Since we developed a prototype and our budget was not very high, we used recycled components and materials from old boards such as resistors, transistors, diodes, LEDs, cheap piezo sensors, wood, and metal.

The piezo sensors were located on small holes made into the wooden box and covered with metal plates with a thin layer of foam in the middle to absorb the knock. Piezo sensors are really sensitive, and just with some slight movements, some “knock” can be falsely triggered. Using foam helped us to reduce that false knocks and at the same time give a nice soft touch to the instrument.

We tried the instrument with a certain amount of people, and we discovered that the box was a bit too big to be played with. Anyhow, the mapping implemented was quite intuitive for the user, and everybody enjoyed using it :)

  • 05/2010 - 06/2010
  • instrumentuniversity assignmentPure DataArduino
  • Context

    Advance interface design. CSIM Master UPF

  • My task Arduino Programming, Pure Data Patch
  • Developed with

    Guiller Malon Aguilar

    Daniel Cabezas Lopez

    Jaume Subirats Aleixandri

    Abel Gasul Pallas