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Robotic arm turns music into art

It's rather simple, as someone plays the piano in the community market, a signal is sent down to the Academy Center of the Arts where a robotic arm receives the signal and drops paint and moves (Photo: Chris Hoffman)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET)-- A mixture of art and science is on display in downtown Lynchburg.

It's rather simple, as someone plays the piano in the community market, a signal is sent down to the Academy Center of the Arts where a robotic arm receives the signal and drops paint and moves.

"This is a great project that shows what happens when the science and arts come together," Academy Director of Community Outreach Evan Smith said.

"What this creates? I don't know. It's a guess for me and I'm looking forward to it," said project creator Adam Spontarelli.

He said it took about a month to make and his background with mechanical engineering made the work easy and enjoyable.

"The only thing I'm not good at is playing the piano," Spontarelli laughed. "That's why I made a robot to make something cool from the piano."

When a note is played, the arm either moves or drops some paint.

Spontarelli said the project was designed to create a feeling of experiencing a sense with a different sense.

"Like you see sounds, and that's kind of what we got right here," he said.

The project will be around during the summer and is expected to be here until the fall.

"We want people to walk away with the feeling that the arts and sciences are joined together," Smith said. "They are not separate, they are together."

"I hope they say wow and how is that done," Spontarelli said excitedly. "I hope it makes them think and wonder and maybe it will inspire them to come up with their own idea."

He said the project was funded by a grant through the Lynchburg Culture and Arts program, and he hopes to do more of these types of projects in the future.

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