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Biotech AI Robotics Science Technology

Wearable Third Arm Gives Drummers Extra Robotic Rhythm (gizmag.com) 77

Zothecula writes: Thumping out as many drum beats in 60 seconds may get you a podium spot at the annual World's Fastest Drummer competition, but we'll take the full kit virtuoso playing of Cozy Powell, Philthy Animal Taylor or Mitch Mitchell any day of the week. When trying to emulate the fastest or the greatest on your bedroom bin-bashers, though, you'd be forgiven for wishing you had a third arm. Georgia Tech Professor Gil Weinberg and his research team may have the answer to your prayers. They've developed a drumstick-wielding wearable robotic limb that's able to respond to both the music being played and the movements of the player.
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Wearable Third Arm Gives Drummers Extra Robotic Rhythm

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  • I, for one... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by dfn5 ( 524972 )
    ...welcome our new drumming robotic arm overlords.
    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      Without the ability for the wearer to guide the third arm using thought alone, this is little more than a gimmick. It could more easily be pulled off by separate drums and arms with the same motion capture and computational mechanisms.

      And, as a drummer, I don't think I'd like a third arm even if I could guide it. Two hands and two feet are pretty much all I think my mind could handle, and be effective at playing.

      • The robotic device is attached to a musician's shoulder and is reported capable of determining the layout of kit components and the direction and proximity of the human arms, thanks to built-in accelerometers, and change playing location accordingly. If the human arm moves to play a hit-hat, for example, the robot arm adjusts to play the ride cymbal, when the player paradiddles on the snare, the attachment moves to the tom at the side.

        So, I don't know about paradiddling or the like, bu tit sounds like it's

        • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

          Right, and who is to say that performing a paradiddle should always match up with moving to an 8th note rhythm on the ride? Real drumming is much more complex than such arbitrary mapping rules.

          Not to take away that this is a neat experiment and a lot of work was put into it. It's more of a showcase of what is possible than of a real technology that is useful.

          • It's more of a showcase of what is possible than of a real technology that is useful.

            If we waited until we had fully complete technology which solved a very specific problem universally regarded as "useful" ... we'd never accomplish a fucking thing.

            Nobody is saying this is going to replace drummers, but it is a new and novel application of robotics, with a degree of autonomy and smarts, and is more than just programming it into a drum machine.

            If all you're going to do is whine and kvetch it's not as complex

        • My first though is why bother with robotics, why not simply put a sensor on your limbs hooked to a MIDI with drum samples?
          I can't imagine this has the sensitivity to play anything but regular hits, so there is no benefit to a physical strike of the drum.
      • As a concert band percussionist, this would be awesome. We would finally be able to cover all 10 auxiliary percussion instruments that some pieces need.
  • How's your ski-boxing coming along, frood?

  • I've got a natural third leg. Does that count?

  • Rick Allen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JonahsDad ( 1332091 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @01:56PM (#51542635)
    Or second arm in the case of Rick Allen [wikipedia.org]
    • Damn, I knew someone was going to bring this up.

      Armageddon it!

    • Rick Allen is a drummer, and a rather incredible story. Drummers, real drummers, see drumming as a pure body effort. This third "robot" arm is no different than using a drum machine. It's no longer the body doing the work, it's a machine.

      Watch Mike Portnoy, Mike Mangini, Neil Peart, John Bohnam (videos obviously), etc.. etc.. they use both arms and both legs with incredible precision for an incredible effect. I don't think Rick was ever that caliber drummer (miracles are not that common) but before the

  • by hypergreatthing ( 254983 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @01:57PM (#51542645)

    A robotic third arm?
    When can i get a robotic third leg?

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @02:03PM (#51542709)

    They've developed a drumstick-wielding wearable robotic limb that's able to respond to both the music being played and the movements of the player.

    Shouldn't this be from the solving-problems-that-aren't-problems-department?

  • They already get more ass than the base player, now they get an extra arm??
  • nuf sed

  • by koan ( 80826 )

    Strap-on.

  • by destinyland ( 578448 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @02:48PM (#51543131)
    In the 1960s there was a garage band called The Barbarians. Their drummer only had one hand, but he held the drumsticks on the other side using a two-finger hook. One of the most inspiring things I've ever seen in my life is the video of an auditorium of teenagers screaming enthusiastically when he launched into his drum solo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    • By the way, that band bears more than a little resemblance to the Ramones, which isn't a coincidence. The Ramones were big fans of the group, and actually namechecked the drummer -- "ol' Moulty" -- in their song "Do You Remember Rock 'n Roll Radio" (produced by Phil Spector).
  • No thanks,unless it can play a shuffle, swing or otherwise kick a band in the ass.
  • it could actually play in time.

  • ..and no mentions of Peart, Carey or even Bonham?
  • So you could say it's like... a gripping hand?
  • Extra robotic rhythm? Or turns them into a Rube-Goldbergian Drum Synth.
  • It was called "Use my Third Arm"!
  • ..more Cowbell!
  • Thumping out as many drum beats in 60 seconds may get you a podium spot at the annual World's Fastest Drummer competition

    As many as what? 60? That's one a second. That's... not very fast.

  • I wonder if Rick Allen of Def Leppard is sitting up and taking notice of this technology...
  • Is this expanding to other instruments like, say, the wind section? I wouldn't mind a third hand to help with my skin flute practice! Zing!

  • All the drummers I know had 3 arms, when girls were around even 5.

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