The Zoolophone's Keys Are Shaped Like Animals

A group of scientists from Columbia University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have collaborated to create a sophisticated xylophone-like instrument that has keys that are shaped like animals -- hence the instrument's name, zoolophone. This device is not just a cute kid's musical toy however, as it was designed using technology that allows objects of specific shapes to produce specific sounds.

This xylophone-like instrument is classed as a metallophone, in other words an instrument that creates sounds via the vibrations that emanate from within the instrument itself rather than from within parts of it such as strings.

While the Zoolophone must surely be a lot of fun to play around with, the underlying technology has some pretty interesting potential applications. For instance, it could be used to construct noiseless computer fans or bridges that work to reduce road noises.