Isak Monrad-Aas and Thomas Hoffmann, students of Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and members of the iSax Laboratories project, conceived to make a robot that plays the trombone.
In the unit called RoboTrombo, a mechanical arm driven by a solenoid moves the trombone rocker. Air under pressure up to two atmospheres is supplied from a cylinder. All this is controlled by the electronics, which receive the music signal via the MIDI interface.
True, it is difficult to call the resulting sounds music. The Achilles’ heel of the design was the knot that replaces the musician’s mouth and lips. In addition, the hiss of the vented air makes this “sad trombone” even more hopeless. Whether the creators of RoboTrombo will improve their project is still unknown.