Lacking in Rhythm? Then Let Robots Strum for You!

Presenting "StrumBot" the Robot Guitar Strummer...

Music enthusiast, "Yu Jiang Tham," may not have rhythm, but that didn’t stop him from getting up on the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon stage and singing “Country Roads,” thanks to his self-strumming guitar, Strumbot.

For the first three hours of the hackathon on Saturday, Tham had no idea what he wanted to do and didn’t want to use any of the available APIs. At about 4 p.m., he made a trip to the hardware store and borrowed his dad’s guitar to create Strumbot. ”I’m actually really bad at guitar. Rhythm mostly,” say's Tham... “So I wanted to create a robot that would help me strum in rhythm.”

Covered in velcro and black tape (since he couldn’t use a drill), the Strumbot enables you, with one hand, to play the chords while a metal lever moves a guitar pick across the strings. Still, it alleviates the problem of having to manage both, and makes it easier to concentrate on chords and lyrics.

Tham uses a node.js application to enter strumming patterns using JavaScript, which then sends signals through an Arduino board to a motor attached to the guitar. The motor then controls when the guitar pick moves, following each pattern. From the computer, you can press the button for each pattern and the Strumbot will take care of the rest...



  1. When he started to sing, it was seriously fucking painful to listen to. And, the strumming was total shit. My advice to this guy is to learn to play, and fuck Strumbot!