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Man invents musical instrument for disabled people

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2017-06-09 15:33

About the solution

MidiWing is based on the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), a computer communication protocol. MIDI is the protocol which allows electronic musical instruments and other musical hardware to talk to each other and to computers. The controllers tell a sound producing device what note to play, for how long, how loud or soft and other similar information. 

Dan was driven to create this device after he saw several disabled children at his mother’s work.

"My mom had a daycare center for severely disabled children when I was young. Those children impressed me. They were pretty much regular people but with disabled bodies. That stuck with me", he explained.

Being born into a family of musicians, Dan knows how to play more than 20 instruments. But then he realized that traditional instruments are not adapted to everyone. “When I realized how difficult traditional instruments are to play, I thought there had to be a way to make things easier and more accessible for people without the gifts I had been given," the inventor expressed.

So he took action, and, with the help from a Sandia National Laboratories researcher, he invented MidiWing. This innovation consists of a microcontroller-based system that sends signals through a USB connection to another electronic device, such as a sound module or computer, which then produces sound.

Dan started to work on this project in 2000, and had his first prototype ready in 2004.

The MidiWing is a small box which contains circuitry with several inputs that connect to switches and sensors, such as a joystick, mouse, slider or fader, that produce sound when moved. It outputs MIDI signals through standard MIDI and USB-MIDI so it can be plugged into any computer or sound producing device like synthesizers, sound modules – even portable keyboards. 

"You can plug in whatever control is appropriate to the person's physical condition. It sounds like any number of different instruments. The range of pitches can be narrowed or expanded, so the device can be made easier or more challenging as the person uses it and gets more familiar”, the inventor said.

Adapted from: http://bit.ly/2sbbJ5r

More info: http://www.midiwing.com

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

Dan Daily, from USA, is a musician who developed MidiWing, a musical instrument that can be played by anyone, regarding of the type of their physical disability. Dan developed this solution after seeing several disabled kids at his mother's work.

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