Conductive Paint Turns Plain Old Paper Into Playable Instruments

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MusicInk allows kids to paint — and play! — a plain old piece of paper like a musical gizmo.

The prototype kits made a recent appearance at Maker Faire Rome. Visitors could test things out by out filling in the instrument-shaped stencils with a few coats of special electronically conductive pigment, then connecting their creation to an Arduino Duemilanove board and Sparkfun MPR121 controller housed in a good looking wooden box, which is linked via Bluetooth to a smartphone app.

Up to 12 electrodes can be attached to different works of art at a time, which then perform like capacitive sensors (reacting to taps and swipes in the same way your iPhone might), each producing a sound sampled from the Philharmonia Orchestra. Check out the vid below to see the a group of youngsters having fun with the process — it’s pretty impressive to see the little guy tapping out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Though MusicInk as a set isn’t available for purchase, you can snag a jar of electric paint from the clever folks at Bare Conductive now if you’re raring to go with your own sonic experiments

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