Sound active robotic puppet drummer that responds to audio track.


I currently play in a full band but am looking to start a 2nd acoustic project that would be able to play in smaller venues that don't allow a full band. I am going to be playing with a pre-recorded accompiament drum track and would like to build a robotic puppet drummer to play beside me. I wouldn't need the robot to actually play drums, I would just need it to make some simple motions and would like him to move to the beat of the music on the drum track.

I can handle the construction of what I am thinking but I do not know where to begin as far as controlling the unit. I was initially thinking of just operating it with a set of foot switches but thought an automated sound active type of control system would be fantastic.

I am thinking I could send the drum track audio from the mixer in to a crossover and send the low frequencies to one RCA output and the high frequencies to another. I am wondering if it is possible to send the two audio tracks to a controller to accomplish something like the muppet in this Weezer video (1:45 in the video specifically).

I am thinking of a puppet about 1/2 to 3/4 the size of the muppet in the video.

Here are my primary Goals:

  1. An actuator triggered by the low frequencies on the audio track will bounce the puppet up and down to the beat of the bass drum.

  2. An actuator triggered by frequencies in the snare drum and tom range will move the puppets up and down in opposite directions of each other.

Secondary goals would provide some motions when no sound is playing through the drum track:

  1. Animatronic eyes that blink randomly

  2. An actuator to randomly rotates the puppet a few degrees side to side on the x axis

  3. Randomly trigger motions from the primary goals list

Can someone let me know if this is something that can be done with Arduino and if so, where I need to begin? Thank

you for the assistance!

Look at MSGEQ7 and see if those bands are discrete enough.
Many light control projects have been made with this chip.

MSGEQ7 7-band EQ chip.pdf (146 KB)

Thank you for the fast response Crossroads. I will take a look now.