Robotic system designed to approximate human performances by capturing and analyzing motion video of a professional percussionist
Musicians require tools to refine their performance and fine‑tune the instrument they are playing. A highly trained and experienced musician can evaluate the quality of their performance by ear. In this way, performance can be “graded” based on a breakdown of pre‑determined performance attributes. However, this takes great skill and years of training. This method of grading is incredibly subjective and time-consuming.
There is also a lack of musical instruments with devices that allow individuals with disabilities to engage in the music-making process. There are a number of disabilities that make it difficult to grasp a drum stick, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, arthritis, lack of hands, fingers or arms, and quadriplegia.
There needs to be a device that can capture the motion associated with percussion instrument performances. Currently, robotic musicians are being developed to help achieve this need. However, many of the systems developed to date have focused on absolute timing accuracy and speed that exceed human ability. In addition, there is a need for a system for individuals with disabilities that allows them to engage in the music-making process.
Researchers at the University of Victoria (UVic) have created a robotic percussionist that is a fully integrated system. The system can be used with a variety of conventional percussion instruments while supporting interchangeable striking implements such as drumsticks, mallets, or brushes. The system is designed to approximate human performances by capturing and analyzing high‑speed motion video of a professional percussionist. The robot is composed of a control system, mechanical system, remote control, and a user interface.
The system also has the ability to work with only eye or breath control and/or with minimal head or arm movement. Having a system with these abilities allows individuals with physical impairments to take part in the music-making process. The system is adaptable over a lifetime as disabilities change over time.
- Approximates human performances by capturing and analyzing high‑speed motion video of a professional percussionist.
- Allows individuals with physical impairments to explore their musical abilities through the music-making process.
The system could be implemented in hospitals, music therapy programs, music conservatories music teachers, and research institutions. Including individuals with disabilities that have a desire to express themselves musically at home. There are potentially many therapeutic and mental health benefits to implementing this system within different fields and institutions.
- Patent application submitted
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