Want to throw down some sick underground beats using vegetables that actually grow underground? Get back to your musical roots by jamming on the BeetBox, a simple musical instrument powered by a Raspberry Pi with a capacitive touch sensor, audio amplifier, wooden box, and six of your favorite tubers. Created by Scott Garner, the drum machine is an exploration of the interaction between nature and technology.
The BeetBox is housed in a poplar frame made from .5″x8″ boards which hide all of the electronic components. The touch sensing is powered by an MPR121 Capacitive Touch Sensor from SparkFun which Garner used existing Arduino code from Python. This board communicates with a Python script on a Raspberry Pi through I2C and looks for tactile stimulation. Drum samples are sourced from pygame. The sound is run through a small, home-built LM386 amplifier and connected to a salvaged speaker placed under the holes in the box’s lid.
Maybe the BeetBox should cut an album inspired by nature? If the record doesn’t top the charts, at least the beets could be used to top a salad.