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Amputee gets robotic arm to play the drums

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2017-01-23 14:44

About the solution

As soon as he recovered, Jason developed his own prosthetic device, but it wasn’t very flexible. He would be able to bang the drums by moving his elbow up and down, but he couldn’t control the speed or bounce of the stick without a wrist or fingers.

So he asked for Gil Weinberg’s help. "I couldn't say no. So I wrote an NSF [National Science Foundation] proposal to fund it, recruited a team... we plan to write a much larger NSF proposal and build a new and improved device”, the mentor explained.

The created device allows the drummer to be in full control. The prosthesis has two drum sticks attached - One controlled by the musician's arm and the other controlled by the processor in the robot. The idea being that the second stick “listens” to what the drummer is playing and improvises with him. “Now I can flex and send signals to a computer that tightens or loosens the stick and controls the rebound”, Jason stated.

The drummer has been touring internationally with his gadget.

“I’ll bet a lot of metal drummers might be jealous of what I can do now. Speed is good. Faster is always better”, Jason expressed.

Adapted from: http://nbcnews.to/1gcW9Vc

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Jason Barnes, from USA, is a drummer who got electrocuted in a workplace accident in 2012, and lost his right arm as a result. He got himself a robotic arm, in 2014, with the help of a team from the Georgia Institute of Technology led by Professor Gil Weinberg, so he could keep playing the drums.

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