Bandbeesten: The Legacy Continues

From Mindworks
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Total Bandbeesten Assembly

Team Name Fortissimo
Duration Summer - Fall 2016
Faculty Advisers Dr. Edwin Odom
Team Members
  • Abdullah Alobaysi
  • Coleton Bailey
  • Parker Mathews

The legacy of the Band-Beesten lives on at the University of Idaho through the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Vandal Marching Band. The former platform for a moving drum set that was capable of traversing different surfaces now resembles a grand piano, pianist and all. This piano will be capable of much more than just playing music, and will be much easier to move.


The Band-Beesten project was started in 2011 by Dr. Edwin Odom, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Daniel Bukvich, Professor of Percussion and Music Theory. The goal of their collaboration was to create a full drum set that could easily be played and moved by a single person during marching band performances. Since then, the project has been revisited every year with new goals to improve old design and create a new product for the Sound of Idaho. The 2016-2017 acedemic year will be the 6th consecutive year of the project.

Work in the fall of 2011 consisted of researching ideas for a powered platform to assist in parade and marching band performances. The team worked solely on research for a proof of concept and did not build a physical prototype. For more in depth design details refer to the Team Drum Roll webpage.

The design team of 2012-2013 made progress with the BandBeesten's design. Dan Mathewson, a UI graduate student, designed a robotic power driven front ball wheel to enable the machine to receive commands through the operator's body movements. More information on this design can be found in Dan Mathewson's thesis . The 2012 design team made significant progress in designing a human interface and powered movement for the BandBeesten.

In the 2013-2014 academic year, a new team started designing a BandBeesten design that would be light weight and have low friction wheels. This design relied only on man-power and did not have any assisting motors. The team also produced a marketing video for the UI Marching Band using 3D printed models, Legos, and a stop-motion video design. More information about this design can be found at their page.

In the 2015-2016 academic year, a team made great progress updating the BandBeesten's platform. The base was redesigned and now includes three motors that each spin an omni wheel assembly. A wireless remote control now commands the platform. An Arduino microcontroller inputs the direction of the joysticks and outputs signal to the motors. More information about the design and project can be found on the Bandbeesten Legacy' page.

Return to contents

Problem Statement

Continue the Legacy of the BandBeesten project by using the three Omni-wheeled remote controlled platform designed and built by previous senior design teams as a base for a lightweight structure that will house a keyboard, lights, fog machine, and pianist. The structure will be built from laser-cut wood and will resemble a traditional grand piano, so that the audience does not suspect the robotic platform movement and showmanship until the peak of its performance, and it's laser-cut construction is not identifiable from a distance.

Return to contents

Project Goals

  • Maintain Band-Beesten from previous projects.
  • Ensure that the platform from the previous team is reliable, functioning properly, and safe.
  • Design a new Mobile Instrument Component called "Project Ivory".

Design Specifications (Project Ivory)

  • Make a mobile piano frame with an 88-key keyboard
  • Resemble a grand piano
  • Led lights hidden from view until turned on
  • CO2 fog machine included in base
  • Mechanically operated lid
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Detachable keyboard box for safe storage and transportation

Return to contents

Updating Previous Design

Rewiring the Platform

The previous design teams that completed the wiring on the Band-Beesten platform created a tall structure with bulky metal boxes housing solenoids and motor drivers for each wheel. The wiring was a result of modifications done to the original controls and with the updated design left unesssary parts. We greatly simplified this design: we removed 2 of the 3 solenoids on the platform that were non-essential and moved the necessary components into the frame of the platform itself, instead of using the top surface exclusively.


Return to contents


Specification Target Final Approximated Total Unit
Piano Shape Weight 15 11.01 13 Pounds [lbs]
Piano Lid Weight 5 5.5 5 Pound [lbs]
Piano Box Weight 12 5.12 10 Pounds [lbs]
Piano Seat Weight 6 12 12 Pounds [lbs]
Performance Duration 15 >30 >30 Minutes [min]
Distance from Center of Mass to Center of Rotation <5 6 ~ Inches [in]

Return to contents

Summer/Fall 2016 Design

When this group inherited Project Ivory the base, motor, and remote control was already completed and is relatively lightweight. The goal of this design team is to finish up where the previous groups left off. This means completing an extremely lightweight structure and the shape of the piano as well as making sure that the showmanship is up to par for the performance in the Kibbie Dome.

Photo Overview
Piano Shell
  • Lightweight frame designed using similar techniques as airplane design
  • Pieces laser cut out of 1/8" baltic birch plywood
  • Slot for easy insertion and removal of keyboard box
  • Rigid enough for movement of base and support of opening the lid
  • Light weight allows for cantilever support
Band-Beesten-Box screenshot.PNG
Keyboard Box
  • Separate keyboard box for easy transportation and storage
  • Keyboard can be locked away separate from main piano shell
  • Independently supports piano and distributes load to piano shell
valign = "center" align = "center" Puzzle Pieces
  • Made out of laser-cut baltic birch plywood sheets
  • Allows for easy, lightweight fabrication
  • Hollow internal structure with supports can be easily built, assembled, and transported
  • Composite materials were considered, but ultimately due to ease of manufacturing and surface finish baltic birch wood sheet frame was selected
  • All extras will be hidden from view at the beginning of the performance
  • Fog machine will be hidden in the base and the smoke will be piped into piano
  • LED lights will bring the fog to life
  • Base will be covered with a false stage
  • Mechanically operated piano lid will rise during performance

Stress Analysis of Cantilever Design

Loaded Unloaded
Band-Beesten-Piano Loaded stress.JPG
Band-Beesten-Piano Freestanding stress.JPG
Band-Beesten-Piano Loaded Displacement.JPG
Band-Beesten-Piano Freestanding Displacement.JPG

Return to contents

Final Sub Assemblies



Photo Overview
Keyboard Box
  • Laser-cut puzzle design
  • Tight-fit around wireless keyboard
  • Seperately attaches to main support structure on platform
  • 1/8" Baltic Birch Plywood

Microcontroller Box
  • Seperate battery supply for microcontroller
  • E-stop switch for safety
  • Garage-opener remote switch to turn power on remotely
  • LED status lights protrude from box
valign = "center" align = "center" Near-Final Platform
  • Bench attaches to frame with U-bolt connectors
  • Tractor seat will screw into bench
  • Main support attaches to origninal drum supports
  • Very lightweight supports and bench
  • Bench features some 1/4" Baltic Birch wood
Near-Final Assembly
  • Final product will be completely stained and feature lid
  • Visible tractor seat will not be visible once complete
  • Glossy clear coat will cover entire structure
  • Final platform design will hide base without inhibiting movement
  • End cantilevers from main support

Return to contents


Band-Beesten-Piano Perform1.JPG
Band-Beesten-Piano Perform2.JPG
Band-Beesten-Piano Perform3.JPG
Band-Beesten-Piano Perform4.JPG

Team Members

Photos Bio Discipline
Abdullah Alobaysi: I am currently a senior in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Idaho, from Saudi Arabia, expected to graduate in December 2016, plan to stay close to the area after graduation for a bit. I like to spend my time away from college camping and traveling to new places. ME
Coleton Bailey: I’m am a student at the University of Idaho that is graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in the winter of 2016. I am also looking to attend a graduate school and eventually pursue a career in the aerospace industry. I discovered my love for engineering at my time at UI after joining the program coming from a background in car restoration. I try to use the knowledge I gained here everywhere in my life from mountain biking to Idaho RISE. ME
Parker Mathews: I am a student at the University of Idaho from Coeur D'Alene area of Idaho and plan on returning there after I recieve my Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering in December with my wife. I am an Engineer in the Idaho Army National Gaurd and plan on continuing to serve after graduation. ME

Return to contents

Document Archive



Return to contents