Arduino Theremin

Built Arduino Theremin using Arduino and ultrasonic distance sensors


Date: 2015
Category: Arduino
Project Size: Solo Project, 1 week
Tools: Arduino


I built Arduino Theremin using Arduino and ultrasonic distance sensors. I proceeded with a toy project to test out various uses of Arduino. When I made this theremin, I designed it to measure one-dimensional distance and sound at the corresponding frequency, unlike theremin.


We designed entrepreneurship education content to be learned by students. I wanted to find a way for students to achieve high effectiveness with low difficulty when working on a project.


I looked to see if Arduino could be used for entrepreneurship training. I worked on some small projects using Arduino and figured out whether ordinary secondary students could easily learn and use Arduino. I started making things that were possible without sensors, and worked on a variety of projects, expanding the sensors. The most difficult of them was the Theremin.


When I was an undergraduate student in electronics, I had experience designing the electronic piano. The scale we listen to is a sound wave with a certain frequency. In other words, by creating a specific frequency and outputting it through the speaker, we can hear a familiar scale. I used this experience to create a simple Theremin. The theremin is an instrument that emits certain sounds by interfering with electromagnetic fields generated by two antennas. One antenna is responsible for the pitch of the sound, and the other is responsible for the loudness of the sound. In my actual implementation, I used only one ultrasonic sensor instead of an antenna. I calculated the return time after the ultrasound was sent and programmed the output to be different frequency depending on the round trip time.


I completed this simple Theremin which generates different frequencies depending on the distance. In fact, after conducting the Arduino Project, I thought that it would be difficult for high school students without basic knowledge to learn and use it in a short time. So I created a prototype of an ideation education program to think about how to use Arduino. However, because the instructors who delivered the training had to learn Arduino, it was not commercialized.