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The Automatic Harmonica player

Type: Entertainment 
Built by: Pierre Baillargeon, Jim Prestia, Rick Corbett 
Cost: $1,100 
The Automatic Harmonica player
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Comments and General Information:

The automatic harmonica player was built by 3 engineering students as a senior project. It went from idea on a piece of paper to built in under 12 weeks.

The device is operated using a keypad on which 10 keys directly corrospond to the 10 holes of the harmonica. There is also a key to turn the system (LCD and keypad) backlighting on/off as well as 4 keys mapped to preprogrammed songs in the microcontroller. When the user selects a song or plays a note, the note or song is displayed on the LCD.

The user can also create their own songs to play using a windows interface which was developed in Visual C++ or select from a list of existing songs for playback.

There is a 10 minute 40mb video of the device in operation here:

Components and Parts:

  • OOPic microcontroller
  • 4x4 keypad
  • LCD
  • 2 single-port solenoid air valves
  • 2 inflatable air mattress pumps
  • Air valve and stepper motor control circuitry
  • Dot matrix printer rail and belt system
  • Custom fabricated mouthpiece
  • Windows 32 application to create and play songs



The Automatic Harmonica player The Automatic Harmonica player The Automatic Harmonica player
The Automatic Harmonica player The Automatic Harmonica player



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