Thanks to Instructables user XenonJohn, such a slightly morbid wish is no longer out of the realm of possibility — and all you’ll need is a 3D printer, Arduino, and “bagpipe chanter” to make it a reality.
A bagpipe chanter, for those unfamiliar with it, is a recorder-like instrument used for practicing to play the full-sized bagpipes.
XenonJohn is evidently quite the fan of the instrument, because of all the things he could have gotten robot hands to do, this is the one he selected. The hands are actually the Raptor-Reloaded open source 3D-printed prosthetic hands, although XenonJohn has modified them by adding coils of wire that function as magnets for each of the fingertips.
The fingers are programmed to press down on individual chanter holes in the instrument using springs. It has precise timing due to the robot’s Arduino Mega 2560 brain, which also stores entire tunes in the form of code. Each note has three characters defining it: one that specifies the main note, another that defines a “grace note,” and the last of which defines the duration of the main note that needs to be played.
XenonJohn has not found a way of getting the robot to blow into the recorder, which means you’ll need to lend a helping, well, breath to get it playing properly.
The brilliantly named Ardu McDuino is set to make a public appearance at the Newcastle Maker Faire in the U.K. this April. Don’t fret if you can’t afford the airfare because XenonJohn has kindly made the instructions available for free online.