If you've ever realized how much potential a box of dry pasta has as a shakeable instrument, you'll immediately understand why Lorenzo Bravi's Hit the Beat drum machine is so wonderful. Because whatever you've got on hand, from dry beans to bottle camps, suddenly becomes a real-life drum sample.
You don't need to be a musician, or have any kind of musical timing, to be able to play it, either. The machine, which is connected to a series of wooden platforms hiding actuators inside, vibrates whatever you place on top—be it a coffee mug, or a pile of skittles.
An Arduino takes care of all the processing and triggering, and the system uses MIDI to turn the beats from a drum machine iPad app into the real-life sounds. With standard drum machine software you're stuck with a library of pre-recorded samples, or samples you capture yourself. But with Lorenzo's creation, those samples can instantly be anything you get your hands on. [Hit the Beat via Creative Applications Network]