Bionic Drummer Plays Twice as Fast than a Regular Human

When a passionate amputee drummer meets a robotic expert, the result is pure rock. YouTube Channel Freethink presents the story.
Jessica Miley

Meet the world’s first bionic drummer. After Jason Barnes lost his hand and part of his arm in an accident, his hopes of being a rockstar drummer seemed impossible.

But now thanks to a professor at Georgia Tech, Barnes is now part man, part machine and all music. Gil Weinberg is working with Barnes on more and more advanced musical prosthetics that blur the line between instrument, robot, and human.

They hope to help other amputee musicians and people with disabilities to return to or take up music. This video documentary shows the extraordinary passion and determination that is needed to undertake such an incredible mission.

In the video by Freethink, you can see Barnes trying to control a robotic prosthetic with his mind. The technology involved here is the work of hours of labor by Gil and his student Zac.

Barnes talks about his love of music in the documentary and the way playing gives him the sort of rush that is more commonly associated with taking drugs.

Music helped Barnes recover from his accident when he saw some of the musical robots Weinberg had created Barnes knew they needed to work together.

Weinberg says he is on a mission to make robots that can stir genuine emotion in people. This documentary is a fascinating insight into the world of applied robots. It's an absolutely inspiring look at the way tech can change people lives.

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