Build your own laser harp

One for budding Jean-Michel Jarres. Do you want to build your own laser harp? Very impressive look it is. Check out the video below.


One for budding Jean-Michel Jarres. Do you want to build your own laser harp? Very impressive looking it certainly is. Check out the video below.

The inventor is one Stephen Hobley and he has shared his workings online.

He says the harp is driven by an Arduino (Boarduino variation) and connected to the impOSCar VSTi software synthesizer, with a TAOS sensor array sitting on the floor in it’s own stand.

The array above the harp is just made up of front surface mirrors for “added p’zazz”. And he declares he has he has finally got the bugs worked out with the sensor.

The harp does respond to hand distance from the sensor, but that can sometimes go awry, he writes, so he switched it off for the demo version.

You can read the datasheet, and also see example code.

laser-harp-arduino.jpgStephen describes commercial laser show systems as using a very fast moving mirror under computer control to bounce the laser light around very quickly, faster than the human eye can see. A Digital to analogue Convertor (DAC) generates the signal that moves the mirror, and he says the first challenge in building a laser harp is to create this DAC system.

He chose to use an Arduino board, and says it supported all the key elements required for the harp:

  • SPI interface – to connect to a DAC chip
  • Timer interrupts – to control the signal pattern we must output
  • Hardware interrupt pins – to react to signals coming back in from a sensor.
  • Serial output – to transmit the MIDI messages to the synthesizer.
  • Easy to program using the WIRING / C++ language
  • Good community support.
  • Inexpensive!!!

Read more online, but watch the video first! Note he does charge $19 to download the full Laser Harp plans and schematics.

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