P18363: Player Piano 2

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

What did your team actually accomplish during this phase?

Project Summary

Most piano music requires a performer to use two hands to play a piece, which is an obstacle for amputees or players with physical impairments. Furthermore, duet pieces written for two players are impossible for a single pianist to practice on their own. A previous Senior Design Project implemented a system to assist these players by automatically playing notes on a piano that the pianist cannot play themselves. The system allowed the user to select a MIDI formatted song to play automatically at the same time the pianist was performing. There are no restrictions with playing the piano normally when desired. The previous version has limitations since the device can only play keys in a two-octave range, which severely limits the complexity of songs that can be played. It also lacks the ability to play notes at different volumes, and does not provide feedback about the notes that are played by the human player.

The aim of this project is to expand the device's playing range to all of the piano’s keys and pedals, add support for control of tempo and volume levels, and give the player more control over song playback. Additionally, the project aims to be developed in such a way that it could be expanded later on and have additional features added to it.

Use Cases


Project Goals and Key Deliverables

  1. Improve upon the previous design and deliver a better prototype that can play upon more of the piano keys in addition to having a better user interface.
  2. Further the accessibility options of the prototype and potentially improve upon the user interface in regards to providing an easy method for amputees to use the system.
  3. Retain original functionality of piano in current form.


Customer Requirements (CR)

Engineering Requirements (ER)

Usability Requirements (UR)

Click here to download the requirements document: Requirements Document


  1. Initial Budget of $500.
  2. Prototype development - must utilize the current piano and extend to all keys; team's choice to utilize the existing system. There must be no effect on the ability to play the piano as a normal piano. There must be no permanent modification to the piano.
  3. System size - must fit within upright piano dimensions and not interfere with other components.
  4. Power - must be able to test system and run final prototype from a single 110V wall outlet.
  5. Tone - must not distort the tonal response of the piano in any way (customer requirement), and allow access for a professional tuner to tune the piano.
  6. Time - Modified and extended prototype must be complete by Imagine RIT festival in the spring.

House of Quality

Note that the House of Quality is contained in the Requirements Document

Benchmarking Table

Click here to download the benchmarking document: Benchmarking Document

Project Plan

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Click here to download the gantt chart: Gantt Chart


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Click here to download the requirements document: Risks Document

Group Plans for next phase

In 3 weeks time we expect to be able to deliver the following:

Individual Plans

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