This Robot Makes Music by Reading Tattoos

Russian artist Dmitry Mozorov designs machine to make noise out of body art

Dan Reilly WRITTEN BY
Dan Reilly

Well, you won't find one of these at your local Guitar Center. Russian artist Dmitry Mozorov invented a new robot/instrument/gadget that makes music by scanning a tattoo on his forearm, and he calls it "reading my body."

How does it work? We don't really know, so we'll let Mozorov explain it. "This is a special instrument that combines human body and robotic system into a single entity that is designed to automate creative process in an attempt to represent the artist and his instrument as a creative hybrid," he writes. "The device consists of a railing with comfortable hand holders and two parallel, but offset from each other black lines' sensors that move along the arm using a stepper motor. It is equipped with a 3-dimensional Wii remote controller that uses the OSC protocol in order to give a possibility of additional expression achieved by moving hand in space."

Got it? In the video above, shared on Complex, you can watch him manipulating the doohickey to create cacaphonous music that sounds like a combination of theremins, a Casio keyboard, and a guitar amp that's repeatedly falling over. 

If you somehow got your hands on one of these, chances are it's not going to make sweet music with any body ink you might have. "The tattoo is specifically designed to contain the maximum number of variable time slots between triggers," Mozorov explains. "It is possible to manually control the velocity of sensors' movement, direction and step length, that altogether gives an infinite number of variations of reading patterns from hand. In addition, all control parameters and sensors' movements can be programmed to operate autonomously."

How poetic.

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