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5 Facilitated Instrument Learning
Christopher Chen
Jiajun Xu
Theodore Lao
Zhen Qin design_review
Members: Jiajun Xu (jxu74), Christopher Chen (cwchen4), Theodore Lao (tlao2)

Musicians must spend a substantial amount of time learning the positions of chords/notes on new instruments they are interested in learning. Facilitated instrument learning will allow someone to sing, hum, or play another instrument and the currently played notes will be mapped onto the new instrument in real time. This allows a beginner, with little musical background, to sing a melody they wish to play and learn it on a new instrument and also allows a professional, with an extensive background on musical theory and other instruments, to compose music on new instruments.

The acoustic input is recorded through an analog MEMS microphone and the signal will go through an ADC. This will connect to a DSP chip which handles the frequency analysis. This will connect to a microprocessor which controls the LEDs on the piano keys.

The DSP chip analyzes the notes currently being struck by filtering and removing the harmonics from the spectrum. The frequencies of the notes will correspond to positions on an instrument which can be indicated by LEDs.

A 9V battery connected to voltage regulator will supply the necessary supply voltages to the components.

Other products which help people learn instruments are:
This $2000 product is limited because notes must be pre-selected on the piano for students to learn from later. With the proposed project, users produce the melodies with their voice or an instrument and the notes on the destination instrument will be shown in real time.
This piano learning subscription service is limited to select songs the company has pre-transcribed for its users, so customers are unable to write songs with melodies they have come up with.

Assistive Chessboard

Robert Kaufman, Rushi Patel, William Sun

Assistive Chessboard

Featured Project

Problem: It can be difficult for a new player to learn chess, especially if they have no one to play with. They would have to resort to online guides which can be distracting when playing with a real board. If they have no one to play with, they would again have to resort to online games which just don't have the same feel as real boards.

Proposal: We plan to create an assistive chess board. The board will have the following features:

-The board will be able to suggest a move by lighting up the square of the move-to space and square under the piece to move.

-The board will light up valid moves when a piece is picked up and flash the placed square if it is invalid.

-We will include a chess clock for timed play with stop buttons for players to signal the end of their turn.

-The player(s) will be able to select different standard time set-ups and preferences for the help displayed by the board.

Implementation Details: The board lights will be an RGB LED under each square of the board. Each chess piece will have a magnetic base which can be detected by a magnetic field sensor under each square. Each piece will have a different strength magnet inside it to ID which piece is what (ie. 6 different magnet sizes for the 6 different types of pieces). Black and white pieces will be distinguished by the polarity of the magnets. The strength and polarity will be read by the same magnetic field sensor under each square. The lights will have different colors for the different piece that it is representing as well as for different signals (ie. An invalid move will flash red).

The chess clock will consist of a 7-segment display in the form of (h:mm:ss) and there will be 2 stop buttons, one for each side, to signal when a player’s turn is over. A third button will be featured near the clock to act as a reset button. The combination of the two stop switches and reset button will be used to select the time mode for the clock. Each side of the board will also have a two toggle-able buttons or switches to control whether move help or suggested moves should be enabled on that side of the board. The state of the decision will be shown by a lit or unlit LED light near the relevant switch.

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