Wifi Arduino - servo motors - iphone - Automated Xylophone

Hi there,

I am a uni student in desperate need of some advice. We are aiming to create a project, where using the arduino we can have a xylophone that plays people’s mobile numbers. So that when you approach the project you use an iphone to enter your mobile number, this sends to the arduino which triggers the 9 servo motors to move 9 xylophone mallets attached corresponding with each number from 0-9 to hit the different numbered keys. So infront of them their mobile number becomes a short tune played by the xylophone.
We are setting it up so that each key has its own mallet attached to a servo motor which is rotated to hit the corresponding key.
Our problem is figuring out a way in which to enter the persons mobile number so that it instantly plays the mallets.

Any advice would be awesome

Thanks Demi, Lily and Cooper!


You could have a web page where you entered your number which is sent to the arduino running the mallets, or did you want to do it by someone texting the device?

Please don’t cross-post. (Please post replies here.)

sorry about cross posting!

We were hoping to have it by texting the device but I suppose a web page could work

I would say the tricky bit is the hardware of the mallets rather than any software issue. If you feel confident with that, the rest should be pretty easy

Depending on your budget and technical skill, I would say the options you could have are:

1) use a GSM shield on the arduino, people could text the device and it would play their number. Cool but expensive. 2) use a wireless shield on the arduino, people could go to a web page, enter their codes and it would play. Quite good but the arduino is not great at web stuff so the software is harder 3) use a separate machine to send the data to the arduino, the software is easier but the hardware is trickier. 4) use a board with a phone style keyboard - might work better, probably not so expensive 5) use a different board, such as a Raspberry Pi, makes the code of 2) easier and cheaper as it already has a way of driving wireless.

I would say either texting (with the GSM board), or using a separate keypad would be about the best options.

Although if it does cope with people texting, it will probably just be a constant stream of hammering.

You could also, instead of just 10 hammers for each number, just use 8 hammers, and get the machine to play two at a time to simulate the DTMF tones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual-tone_multi-frequency_signaling.

That would make for an interesting sound on a xylophone!

Could you make a simple trip-hammer mechanism?

if you wanted you could make an iphone app to connect to it