The Actuated Guitar: A platform enabling alternative interaction methods

Jeppe Veirum Larsen, Daniel Overholt, Thomas B. Moeslund

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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Playing a guitar is normally only for people with fully functional hands. In this work we investigate alternative interaction concepts to enable or re-enable people with non-functional right hands or arms to play a guitar via actuated strumming. The functionality and complexity of right hand interaction with the guitar is immense. We therefore divided the right hand techniques into three main areas: Strumming, string picking / skipping, and string muting. This paper explores the first stage, strum- ming. We have developed an exploratory platform called the Actuated Guitar that utilizes a normal electrical gui- tar, sensors to capture the rhythmic motion of alternative fully functioning limbs, such as a foot, knee or the head, and a motorized fader moving a pick back and forth across the strings. A microcontroller is utilized for pro- cessing sensor data, which allows flexible mapping of user input to the actuation of the motorized fader. Our approach employs the flexibility of a programmable digi- tal system, allowing us to scale and map different ranges of data from various sensors to the motion of the actuator – thereby making it easier adapt to individual users.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Sound and Music Computing Conference 2013 (SMC 2013)
Number of pages4
PublisherLogos Verlag Berlin
Publication date27 Jul 2013
ISBN (Print)978-3-8325-3472-1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2013
EventSMAC Stockholm Music Acoustics Conference 2013 SMC Sound and Music Computing Conference 2013: Sound Science, Sound Experience - Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 30 Jul 20133 Aug 2013


ConferenceSMAC Stockholm Music Acoustics Conference 2013 SMC Sound and Music Computing Conference 2013
LocationKungliga Tekniska Högskolan


  • Interactive performance systems
  • Interfaces for sound and music
  • Music and robotics
  • Social interaction in sound and music computing
  • Actuated instruments
  • Actuated guitar
  • Musical instruments for the disabled


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