The Beat Bike, A Bizarre Bike-Mounted Drum Machine

Hardware hacker Michael Una explains his Beat Bike – an interactive bike-mounted drum machine.

Sensors mounted on a bicycle frame are activated by spinning the bicycle’s front wheel. Once activated, they trigger a single drum sound- kick drum, snare, tom-tom, and “disco-bleep” from a kids’ toy drum machine.

As the wheel spins, the sensors are triggered in a sequence which becomes an audible, repeating drum beat.   The rider controls the tempo of the beat as well as the sequence of sounds from controls mounted on the handlebars.

Una explains what he does:

My work investigates how vibrating waves of energy and human consciousness interact. I utilize traditional musical instruments, handbuilt analog electronics, video processes, digital synthesis, and repurposed objects to build harmonic wave patterns. These patterns are projected into physical space, creating a unique and temporary audiophysical experience.

Here’s an example of the Beat Bike in action at Daley Plaza, Chicago:

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