Three-armed Drummers are for Real, Thanks to Robotic Limbs

February 20, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Rapid drummers always attract applause for their swift moves. The Georgia Institute of Technology is now bringing in some help from robotic technology to this arena.

The institute has made three-armed drumming a realty using a robotic arm that fits well on the drummers’ shoulder. Project leader Gil Weinberg, who has previously worked for prosthetic limbs, have transformed the new arm to be working entirely different from his previous ventures with the introduction of a distinct mind and brain for this robotic arm.

He explains that this robotic arm was designed to pick up the movements of the drummer deeper so that it could carry out the corresponding actions by its own.

roboarm

This has been well showcased in the video, where the robotic arm was seen switching with the cymbals and tom kits according to the tune and tempo with which the drummer was performing.

The project also involves the inclusion of other technologies to ensure that these robotic arms don’t get in the way. Human motion capture technology has been used to sense the real motion of the drummers’ arms in its proximity, along with which the constant motion of the flesh and muscles in the arm is also being monitored.

Yet, the team says that they want to add more, for which they have been now experimenting with an electroencephalogram headband that gets attached to the drummers’ head. If successful, we could see these robotic arms to be forming a bond with the drummers’ brain, making it response rapidly and exactly according to how the drummer thinks.

All we can say is that the future of drum performances is rightly progressing here in this institute. And it could not just be the aid and abet to the drummers, but to the entire music industry. We have already seen how musicians make music out of nothing these days, and this robotic musician could just be the next big thing coming out of music-technology marriage.

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