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

Jeppe Veirum Larsen, Daniel Overholt, Thomas B. Moeslund

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

8 Citations (Scopus)
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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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression
EditorsBaptiste Caramiaux, Koray Tahiroglu, Rebecca Fiebrink, Atau Tanaka
Number of pages6
PublisherGoldsmiths, University of London
Publication date2014
ISBN (Print)978-1-906897-29-­1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Eventnime 2014: 14th International Conference on New interfaces for musical expression 2014 - Goldsmiths University, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Jun 20144 Jul 2014


Conferencenime 2014
LocationGoldsmiths University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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