I haven't heard the MIDI bagpipes yet, but as odd as it seems, bagpipes
are an ideal instrument for a simple MIDI project. There really isn't
any expression to worry about and the wind pressure is constant, unlike
a flute, recorder, or tuba. Incidentally, there's a computer-controlled
robot tuba in Germany).
So all you really need are magnet-controlled pads to open the chanter
finger holes and some simple electronics logic (or firmware) to convert
single MIDI notes into fingerings.
I don't know why the MIDI-fied pipes don't do proper ornaments and
trills, except that whoever prepared the file just didn't edit these in.
It would be really hard to make a MIDI system play mechanically and
evenly if the stored notes weren't that way to begin with. So the
problem is with the "roll" editor, not the equipment, or so I would
guess. Imagine a player piano that could take a hand-played roll coded
with expression, and make it sound mechanically even. It would be
difficult to do! Instead, you'd have to prepare such a roll on the
Disclaimer: I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from CMU, so I know
the place. I also built a MIDI interface into my Raffin 31er crank
organ, and I'm glad I chose such a simple instrument (organ) to
interface, and not something with more nuances.
Now to find the bagpipe website for a look and listen.