The Actuated Guitar: Implementation and User Test on Children with Hemiplegia

Jeppe Veirum Larsen, Daniel Overholt, Thomas B. Moeslund

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People with a physical handicap are often not able to engage and embrace the world of music on the same terms as normal functioning people. Traditional musical instruments have been refined over the last centuries, developing highly specialized and powerful interfaces; but nearly all require two functioning hands. In this study we try to enable people with Hemiplegia to play a real electrical guitar, by modifying it in a way that allows people with Hemiplegia able to actually use the instrument. We developed a guitar platform utilizing sensors to capture the rhythmic motion of alternate fully functioning limbs, such as a foot, knee or the head to activate a motorized fader moving a pick back and forth across the strings. This approach employs the flexibility of a programmable digital system which allows us to scale and map different ranges of data from various sensors to the motion of the actuator, thereby making it easier to adapt to individual users. To validate and test the instrument platform we collaborated with the Helena Elsass Center in Copenhagen, Denmark during their 2013 Summer Camp, to see if we actually succeeded in creating an electrical guitar that children with Hemiplegia could play. The initial user studies showed that children with Hemiplegia were able to play the actuated guitar by producing rhythmical movement across the strings, enabling them to enter a world of music they so often see as closed.
TitelProceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression
RedaktørerBaptiste Caramiaux, Koray Tahiroglu, Rebecca Fiebrink, Atau Tanaka
Antal sider6
ForlagGoldsmiths, University of London
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-906897-29-­1
StatusUdgivet - 2014
Begivenhed14th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression: 14th International Conference on New interfaces for musical expression 2014 - Goldsmiths University, London, Storbritannien
Varighed: 30 jun. 20144 jul. 2014


Konference14th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression
LokationGoldsmiths University


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