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 Haptic drumstick keeps novices on the beat

This story is from the category Sensors
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Date posted: 13/03/2008

A machine that controls a novice's drumstick to help them learn how to play could be the first of a string of robotic musical teachers.

Music teachers often guide a student's hand to get across complex or subtle movements, says Graham Grindlay, a computer scientist who developed the device while at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, US. "I had the idea of a drum kit that would guide you through the playing."

This approach resulted in what Grindlay has dubbed the Haptic Guidance System (HAGUS), which has a drumstick attached to a set of motors. The user grasps the stick with their arm held in position by an adjacent brace so their hand is guided by the action of the motors.

A skilled drummer can use HAGUS to "record" a specific set of beats for it to later teach to a beginner.

When the novice uses HAGUS and tries to play the same beats, the device guides the drumstick using its motors. In this way it can teach users to alter the tempo, by speeding up or slowing down, or to hit the drum with varying strength to match the expert's playing.

See the full Story via external site: www.newscientist.com

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