Optical Theremin

Project 5 out of 18

Create a functional instrument that can be played without a touch.

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A theremin is an electronic instrument that is controlled without physical contact by the user. You’ll use the skills that you learned at the beginning of the Electronics Course to make this DIY Optical Theremin because the setup for the hardware of this instrument is similar to the setup you used for the Mood Lamp. You’ll learn about variable resistance and what potentiometers do and how to incorporate it into the project. Then, you’ll complete the program by filling in the blanks on the sketch to make your instrument playable. After you’re done making the DIY Optical Theremin, learn how changing values of frequency in the code changes the project and use the LDR to determine tempo instead of pitch. Make some music!

Milestones Unlocked



Programming (C++)

Variable Resistance

Course Progression

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Lesson Preview

Finish making your DIY Optical Theremin and then put your skills into practice by completing these exercises:

  • Change values for frequency in the code.
  • Make the LDR determine the tempo instead of the pitch.
  • Calculate the tone that the UNO R3 will produce.

You’re up to the challenge!

Electronics Course


18 Projects


Ages 12+


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