Making waves with Moritz Simon Geist

Robotics engineer, classically trained musician, and relentless experimenter Moritz Simon Geist put himself on the map by designing and building robots that play music. Tinkering in his Dresden workshop, Geist is drawn to the rhythms, melodies, and harmonies to be found in any number of unlikely sources.

Like, say, a Polestar 2.

We provided Moritz with our all-electric fastback to see what he’d find. And what he found, with the help of his robots, was something less tangible than Polestar 2’s electric heart.

Moritz found waves.

More specifically, he located sound waves from the various components of Polestar 2. Given that the car was built for minimal vibration, this was no easy feat. The specific robot in Moritz’ team that found these waves was a custom-made sniffer, mounted on a 6-axis arm. It picked up frequencies emitted by Polestar 2’s electronic components, which Moritz was then able to play like an instrument. If harps had hertz, they’d sound like this.

01/04

One of Moritz' robots extracting sounds from Polestar 2.

Other robots in Moritz’ assembly of automated assistants included solenoid-triggered components from a converter unit, fans from the battery pack’s coolant system which swish Styrofoam balls in a tube, and mics attached to the mechanical relays of a switching unit.

Once the robots were built, the next step was to capture them in action. The Lise Meitner House on the Humboldt University of Berlin campus played host to Moritz and his abovementioned orchestra as they performed his composition.

When supplying the Polestar 2 to Moritz, we knew he’d find something. We just didn’t expect it to sound quite this good. 

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