#18 Air Pump

Mechanism #18, named the “pump”, was invented by the children of Robert Mellors Primary Academy in Nottingham, with assistance from the 88 Pianists team at the University of Nottingham. 

The note that this would play had to be carefully chosen because it has a long delay and cannot be deployed quickly or frequently - presenting our engineers with a wonderful challenge! Briant has taken inspiration from a water pump mechanism, and we worked on ensuring that the invention would remain loyal to the original design, but also solve some of the engineering challenges.

The children at Robert Mellors were inspired by how water/air pumps work from the school workshop visit. This design features an air tube and pump to press the piano note. Using the mechanism for a water pump we created a design to allow pulling on the handle to activate the piano key, similar to the motion used for drawing water from the ground.

Fantastic work Briant, and the children from Robert Mellors!