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Disability

Jason Barnes Drums With A Musically Programmed Robotic Hand

In 2012, Jason Barnes lost his right hand and part of his arm due to an electrical accident. As an avid drummer, he was devastated. He tried to fashion a prosthetic hand that would allow him to play the drums, but it was imperfect: he couldn't adjust his grip or the speed of the stick. That's when professor Gil Weinberg stepped in. Weinberg already had a band of robot musicians in his lab at Georgia Tech, and he was intrigued by Barnes's problem. He and his team devised a prosthesis that has a "musical brain," meaning that it can play on its own. Not only that, but it can play faster than a human hand, and is capable of wielding two drumsticks instead of one.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. In 2012, an electrical accident left Jason Barnes without his right hand. 00:13

  2. See Jason Barnes drum with his robotic arm: 04:17

  3. Shimon is an eight-armed robotic marimba player. 05:25

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