The incredibly inventive engineer Mark Rober built Chopstix, a A Googly-Eyed Player Piano self-playing, transparent piano with googly eyes and a digital screen that is able to speak English through a MIDI controller. Fellow YouTuber Buddy Sanderson of 3Blue1Brown explained how Chopstix is able to speak.
The signals from speech can be visualized with a waveform, …If you zoom in on a little window of it you might notice it looks like a rhythmic repeating pattern. As it happens, one of the most delightful facts from math tells us that for pretty much any signal you can express it as a sum of pure sine waves, which, in the context of sounds, correspond to pure pitches. Higher frequency sine waves give you higher pitches.
For the finale, Chopstix performed “Rush E”, an extremely difficult piano instrumental that started out as an internet meme. Once finished, Rober set off a smoke bomb to indicate the effort Chopstix employed.
No Chopstix were hurt in the filming of this video (i.e. he didn’t ACTUALLY catch fire). I took some creative liberty in the form of a smoke bomb 🙂
Background On Mark Rober
Mark B. Rober is an American YouTuber, engineer, and inventor. He is known for his YouTube videos on popular science and do-it-yourself gadgets. Before YouTube, Rober was an engineer with NASA for nine years, where he spent seven years working on the Curiosity rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He later worked for four years at Apple Inc. as a product designer in their Special Projects Group, where he authored patents involving virtual reality in self-driving cars. He really has a thing for engineering!
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