What it does

PRESTO is an interactive keyboard designed and built to teach blossoming musicians the art of playing piano. The one octave prototype that we created is a simple, yet effective proof of concept that allows users to select songs and follow along with an LED light display located under the keys in order to learn both note placement and rhythm. PRESTO also features a website that lets more advanced users compose their own pieces of music and save their creative work for later access. The project targets younger and beginner audiences, yet contains advanced software and hardware that will undoubtedly thrill any level of pianist.


PRESTO was inspired by our groups’ mutual love of piano and the technicalities that make the instrument both magical and complex. It seeks to make piano and accessible and fun pastime for all.


During MakeMIT, PRESTO ran into multiple challenges. From the time delays for laser cutting and 3D printing, to the electronic board failures and code bugs, team N.A.K.E.D. Engineering had to work together and push through to create both a visually appealing and functional product.

What's Next

We are planning to improve PRESTO on both software and hardware aspects. For the software, we will embed text recognition and voice recognition, so the users are able to scan a piece of music and turn a music file into notes usedfor PRESTO. For the hardware, we are looking forward to build more than one octave and to improve the LED display.

What we learned

The PRESTO team learned so many new things during this project. We experienced many setbacks in coding and electronics that we had to debug and write new code for. On the hardware side, we had to learn new building methods that relied less and less on the convenience of the 3D printing and laser cutting.

How we built it

  1. Using laser cutter to get the key pieces we need
  2. Assemble a Lego frame, hang the keys on it using hinges
  3. Glue touch switch under each key, plug LEDs to the breadboard beneath

How it works

  1. Receive input from the switches
  2. Transform the signals into computer generated sounds
  3. Another way: transform the user input from the keyboard to notes
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