Robotic Arm Lets Amputee Play Drums



Georgia Tech has developed a prosthetic arm that can play the drums following instructions from a human’s biceps — even if their arm is amputated at the elbow.

According to a press release:

The prosthesis was created for Jason Barnes, a drummer who was electrocuted two years ago and lost his right arm below the elbow. The Atlanta Institute of Music and Media student built his own prosthetic device shortly after the accident. It wasn’t very flexible. He could bang the drums by moving his elbow up and down, but couldn’t control the speed or bounce of the stick without a wrist or fingers. That’s when Weinberg stepped in to create a single-stick device with sensors that responds to Barnes’ bicep muscles.

The device can actually operate two sticks, one controlled by the person and the other automatically “improvising”, meaning Barnes can effectively play three drumsticks at once.

Of course, it’s not impossible to drum well with only one arm, as Rick Allen of Def Leppard proved.

[Via: Smithsonian Mag]

One Response to Robotic Arm Lets Amputee Play Drums

  1. Thats crazy because Rick Allen has been playing drums with one arm since the 80′s, and quite well.