Rock Star Robot

Rock Star Robot

July 20, 2020

People who play the guitar well can make amazing music. Well, here’s a robot that can jam, too. Fastythefastcat built a robot out of Lego Mindstorms pieces that strums the guitar — and plays a real song! As we see in this video, a robot arm with a tooth-shaped tip drags across the strings; at the other end, 6 Lego pieces take turns pushing down the strings in the right spots to play different sets of notes, called “chords.” Next thing we know, the robot’s going to ask for a trumpet.

Wee ones: What numbers would you say to count the 6 strings on that guitar?

Little kids: If the robot needs 6 “fingers” to press on the strings and 1 more finger to play them, how many fingers touch the strings?  Bonus: In the verses the robot plays just 3 chords (sets of musical notes): A minor, F, C, then it returns to A minor to repeat. Which chord is the 8th chord it plays?

Big kids: If the robot uses 8 gears and twice as many beams (stick pieces), how many total pieces is that?  Bonus: If the robot repeated this 4-chord set the whole time — A minor, F, C, G — which chord would be the 80th one played?




Wee ones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Little kids: 7 “fingers.”  Bonus: F.

Big kids: 24 pieces, since it uses 16 beams.  Bonus: G, since 80 is a multiple of 4 and G lands on all the multiples of 4.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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