Idea for an electronics project for Uni next year (self-tuning guitar?)

To cut this short, I'm currently studying EE with a focus on technical IT and we need to do a project next year. The problem is that I somehow fell in a different regulation and suddenly need to do my project sooner than most other people. So even though the project is supposed to be done next year (and we still haven't learned lots of the stuff that is needed to complete the project) I need to come up with an idea for a project within the next few months.

First of all I'd like to ask for ideas that fit the criteria, I know it's a bit silly since you have no clue what is in my curriculum, but just some basic ideas would be awesome. The idea has to: be do-able with our equipment (basic EE lab equipment), not be too costly (I'll be happy to pitch in some money of course but I simply don't want to spend hundreds of bucks on a Uni project), fix some sort of issue or provide a new solution (you can't just build an already existing product, like a headphone amp, even if you designed it yourself), be original in some form, not focus too much on mechanical stuff (motors or little robots are fine, but you're not supposed to build all that stuff from scratch and then just do really basic electronics and programming). That's the rough outline.

So, after some thinking my idea came down to this (and I'd love some input from more experienced people if this is do-able or generally if it is even a good idea): A clamp for the headstock of a guitar (I'd take a bass guitar as an example since I own one and could easily do the project on that thing) that has a motor controlling the tuning pegs. So you have basic tuner electronics (either re-using an existing tuner or making one myself, not sure yet I'd have to look into that) going into a microcontroller which then controls the motor based on the result (if the tone is too low it tightens the string, if it's too high it loosens it). So in the end you have a guitar that tunes itself when you activate this self-tuner. Something like that could even be integrated into the electronics of the guitar itself, which would be kinda neat.

So, yeah. Any input is welcome. Either on my idea or on something completely different that might fit the bill. 2 people will be working on this, a colleague of mine who has a focus on electronics will be doing the actual EE part of it and I'd be doing the programming and everything in regards to the micro controller.

Already a thing, man. I've seen one which undid the string first and then did it back up. It was a neat way to break your strings.

Oh.... damn. Well, they surely won't break bass strings, the question is whether or not it would count as something "new" if it's an add-on to an existing guitar (with a universal mounting clamp or something along those lines). But thanks for showing me that, back to the drawing board I guess.

I'm trying to think of something for you. Need to leave something constructive haha

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Can't think of much...

3D laser cutter which works on a gimbal, rather than rotating the object? Basically subtractive 3D anti-printing lol


You could try developing a method by which a guitarist can check to see if the neck is out of intonation, or, a guitar that self adjusts action.

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An industrial laser strong enough for cutting sounds pretty expensive, but I'll keep it in mind. edit: if we just want to make the action that handles the laser then I guess we could look for specifications of industrial lasers and then just make a mock up thing with a laser pointer inside of it. That sounds more practical. So a gimbal that rotates around the object, huh? I guess we'd also need need to 3d scan the object though.

Interesting, similar concept (just motors adjusting the screws at the bridge and the tuning pegs and something that holds down the 12th fret), but a different purpose at the end of the day. If we have enough time we could do both for an "automatic guitar" that does all these things for you. Hmm, thanks for the idea. With the term "automatic guitar" I'm also thinking abut something that plays itself but I think that's going too far, thanks for the input though!

Finally got a chance to talk to my prof and the self tuning bass guitar would be a suitable idea for a project as long as we design the tuner outselves. I'm still open for other ideas but I guess that's a pretty good start/fallback if we can't come up with anything else.

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The self tuners never took off. As far as I remember Gibson first unveiled them on a futuristic version of the les paul, but they are pretty much never used. This sounds like a really cool project to me.