Haptic Robot Drummer Teaches Force

A researcher at MIT has developed a mechanical device which can help drummers learn new techniques more quickly. The device is called HAGUS (Haptic Guidance System) and is particularly effective at teaching novices how much force to use when striking the skins…
(from Music Technology)

Touch-Sensitive Learning

HAGUS is a project devised by Graham Grindlay for his Master’s thesis at Media Lab. As many drum instructors tend to physically guide learners, he thought it would be useful to devise something that could perform this function mechanically. In practise, a skilled drummer can record a series of movements into the HAGUS, and it can then guide a beginner to play the same piece in playback mode.

The benefits of learning in such a thigmatic way are notable; using HAGUS, people with no experience of drumming learned how hard to hit the drum 18% faster than those learning purely by ear. There was also an improvement in rhythm and timing.

However, Grindlay hopes that using a more advanced two-handed HAGUS system will bring further improvements to the haptic learning process. You can read more about the HAGUS prototype on this page.


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