Musician gets bionic drummer's arm
Jason Barnes is getting a second chance to pursue his musical dreams thanks to new technology developed at Georgia Tech University.
Barnes lost the lower part of his right arm when he was electrocuted two years ago. Thanks to the work of Georgia Tech professor Gil Weinberg, Barnes was outfitted with a special robotic prosthesis.
Two drumsticks are attached to the end of the bionic arm. According to Weinberg, one of the drumsticks is controlled by electromyography muscle sensors. The second drumstick listens to the beat of the music and plays on its own.
"It was pretty exciting to do," Weinberg told WXIA-TV. "To have a stick with a mind of its own that can listen to Jason, improvise and surprise him."
"It's definitely like adding another brain to the equation or playing your instrument with another person," Barnes told WXIA-TV.
Barnes says the EMG-controlled stick also allows him to flex, tighten and loosen his grip on the drumstick.
Barnes will quickly put his new bionic arm to the test in front of a live audience. He is scheduled to perform at Kennesaw State University on March 22.