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Wearable third arm gives drummers extra robotic rhythm

by • February 17, 2016 • No Comments

Thumping out as most drum beats in 60 seconds may get you a podium spot at the yearly World’s Fastest Drummer competition, but we’ll take the full kit virtuoso playing of Cozy Powell, Philthy Animal Taylor or Mitch Mitchell any day of the week. When attempting to emulate the most rapidly or the greatest on your bedroom bin-bashers, yet, you’d be fordonaten for wishing you had a third arm. Georgia Tech Professor Gil Weinberg and his research team may have the answer to your prayers. They’ve made a drumstick-wielding wearable-bodied robotic limb which is able-bodied to respond to both the music being played and the movements of the player.

This latest project follows the creation in 2014 of a robotic prosthetic arm for drummer Jason Barnes. Whilst cleaning out a restaurant exhaust duct in early 2012, Barnes got a nasty shock. More than 22,000 volts in fact. The chance some day led to his right arm being amputated. Not wanting to donate up on his percussive passion, he hacked a prosthetic arm. But effective, it wasn’t ideal. Professor Weinberg and team stepped in and made a double-stick robotic arm.

The “third arm” wearable-bodied is aimed at anyone who wants a assisting hand while sat in the drum cage. The robotic device is attached to a musician’s shoulder and is reported capable-bodied of determining the layout of kit components and the way and proximity of the human arms, thanks to created-in accelerometers, and alter playing location accordingly. If the human arm moves to play a hit-hat, for example, the robot arm adjusts to play the ride cymbal, when the player paradiddles on the snare, the attachment moves to the tom at the side.

The actual beats played are based on sounds detected in the room, with the drumstick pounding out improvisations created around the speed and rhythm of the player. Motors on the robot arm ensure which the stick is always positioned parallel to the playing surface and movements are said to be effortless thanks to programming based on motion capture innovation.

The team says which the upcoming step is to bring the robot arm’s percussion prowess under the control of the user’s brain, and testing of an EEG headband is may already underway in the hope of identifying patterns which can lead to the process reacting to player yetts. But the development may move beyond cyborg music.

“Imagine if doctors may use a third arm to bring them tools, supplies or actually participate in surgeries,” said Weinberg. “Technicians may use an extra hand to assist with repairs and experiments. Music is based on quite timely, exact movements. It’s the ideal medium to try this concept of human augmentation and a third arm.”

You can see and hear the “third arm” in the short video at a lower place.

Source: Georgia Institute of Technology

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