Students Build Musical Staircase at Johns Hopkins

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In the course of daily life, most of us go up and down dozens of stairs every day. And usually, we don’t think much of it. But thanks to a transformation by undergrads in the Johns Hopkins Robotics Club, a staircase in one of the university’s academic buildings is now a whole different kind of experience.

According to Max Yelsky, president of the club, the students — many of whom study engineering and/or computer science — wanted both to make people smile and to spread the word about the newly-formed club. “We had a bunch of sensors lying around, and we figured it would be cool to build something the community might like,” he said. A bit of tinkering and some problem-solving later, and the university had its first-ever musical staircase.

The Hopkins students were probably influenced by this subway piano staircase in Sweden
The Hopkins students were probably influenced by this subway piano staircase in Sweden

The video above shows Hopkins students and staff fooling around on the steps, playing a song with their feet (or their hands!), and just generally enjoying the unexpected surprise of a musical staircase. Visit the university’s Hackerman Hall to try it out for yourself!



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