Dexterity enhancing guitar

[Justin Lange's] dad loves playing guitar, but an accident left him with nerve damage that makes it pretty much impossible these days. He just doesn’t have the dexterity needed to form the cords using his left hand. But his son’s hacking skills are helping him get back into it. [Justin] built a button-based add-on that forms the cords for him.

The build has two parts. A frame mounts over the finger board with slots for eighteen solenoids which push the strings down between the frets. These are controlled by the replacement finger board which is mounted below the neck. It has a double-row of buttons that let the player select the desired chord. One button chooses the key, with a second button acting as a modifier to switch to a seventh cord, or minor cord.

The project, which [Justin] has named folkBox, relies on a microcontroller. We spy an Arduino Mega in one of the build photographs but it will be interesting to see if the final project moves to a standalone chip. He’s set a goal for a more robust version of the build some time this summer.

[via Make]

Awesome robots love Fanta

What you are seeing above is not a commercial for Fanta, though we think it would have been a good one. It also isn’t being played at an accelerated speed. That is a real time demonstration of the accuracy and speed the ABB robots achieve. We were surprised, even shocked, when we clicked play. We don’t know who came up with this idea, but we want those robots, and we want some Fanta.  We’re a bit curious what industry needs beverage tracing robots though.

The last time we saw such amazing feats of robot awesomeness, they were bouncing balls and catching stuff in mid air.

Home built Delta Robot

Theres an interesting thread going on at RoboterNetz.de (translated) about building delta robots. For those who haven’t seen delta robots before, be sure to check the video after the break for some really impressive agility displays. A delta robot usually has 3 arms connected to a single point at the end. This configuration allows the end point to maintain its “level” while the whole unit is moved, usually very quickly. There are a few people building them in this forum. The one pictured above is [Asurofilmchen]‘s version, but you should also check out [Radbruch]‘s posts of a robot made by [Jamison].

[Read more...]

Amazing robot dexterity

Ishikawa Komuro Laboratories are doing some amazing stuff with robots right now. The video above starts out looking like a clumsy and somewhat failed attempt at dribbling a ping pong ball. Once it goes into slow motion however, we see the true action. This robot is dribbling that ball amazingly. Utilizing 1000 FPS cameras, it readjusts and hits the ball on every bounce. As the ball drifts out of the reach of the bot, suddenly we are struck with the lifelike motion.  Personification can be a fleeting thing, appearing so strongly as the little bot tries in vain to reach for that ball, then disappearing again an instant later. If you really want to see some personification worthy of the crab fu challenge, check out their tool manipulation by a multi fingered hand video.

[via BotJunkie]

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