If you like to sing you better check out this one: this breathing-controlled car could provide the perfect mix of practice and pleasure!

The projec is a standard remote control toy car with a mouthpiece the player blows into to control steering. The car measures controlled change - blow gradually harder and it steers to the right; blow gradually softer and it steers to the left. At least 80% of the technique of singing or playing any wind instrument is concerned with controlled breathing. This toy replicates many traditional breathing excercises in a context of play, whilst preserving the ethos of ’practice makes perfect’ - providing clear goals and requiring a degree of mastery through repeated practice.

Steering/breathing instructions can be described using standard musical notation (dynamics, tempo, duration of notes, phrasing, breath marks - but no key or pitch). The diagrams below describe everything from a three point turn to the entire circuit of Silverstone - a movement of a Hummel trumpet concerto has also been transcribed as a track layout.

How does it work?

The controller

Contains a Yamaha BC3 MIDI breath controller which converts breath pressure to MIDI data. This is sent to MAX/MSP which converts MIDI to serial data.

The car

Serial data is sent via Bluetooth and PIC chip to a servo on the car which controls the steering. The forward and backward controls are hacked from a cheap 18$ remote controlled toy car.

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