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How Robotics Engineers Brought Jason Barnes' Groove Back


We came across a powerful juxtaposition of technology, music, and health. Thanks to robotics engineers at Georgia Tech, a 24-year-old drummer is getting a second chance to play the music he loves after losing his right arm in an accident.

Read the story here.

Deepak Gopinath, Mason Bretan, Jason Barnes
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After the accident, Jason received the prosthetic arm which was designed especially for drumming. The arm is actually two smaller arms in one. According to ABC, “the first arm receives signals from Jason’s bicep to reproduce the actions of his hand and wrist. The second arm reacts to music being played around it.”

Gil Weinberg, director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, told ABC that the arm “has a computer chip that actually listens to the music and tries to ornament and to improvise to enhance what he’s playing.”

If all that wasn’t incredible enough, Jason has also been invited on a summer tour with Rick Allen, the drummer of Def Leppard who lost his arm in a car crash back in 1984. Jason is reportedly inspired by Allen’s accomplishments as a one-armed drummer, and is thrilled to play alongside a musical legend who overcame a similar physical hardship.

Interested in becoming a robotics engineer? View Robotics courses for ages 7-18 at iD Tech. Who knows–someday you could be responsible for engineering technologies that save lives and people’s ability to pursue their passions.

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