Build an Air Theremin (for Dance Parties!)

The TeraRanger One range finder lets you make a musical instrument you can play with your whole body


IEEE Spectrum’s own Stephen Cass has been on a several-month-long quest to make groovy electronic music—in spite of a complete and utter lack of any musical talent whatsoever. So when he stumbled across the TeraRanger One range finding sensor, the wheels in his head started spinning.

The sensor uses reflected infrared pulses to determine distances of up to several meters. Cass quickly realized that with the help of an Arduino Mega, he could translate different distances into musical notes on his 1980s vintage Casio SK-5 keyboard, creating an instrument you can play with your whole body. The result is quite possibly the most epic conference room dance party the world has ever seen.

Here’s how to make your own: How to Build a Theremin You Can Play With Your Whole Body

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