Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
27 VoxBox Robo-Drummer
Northrop Grumman Best Project Award
Craig Bost
Drake Proffitt
Nicholas Dulin
Zhen Qin design_review
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Our group proposes to create robot drummer which would respond to human voice "beatboxing" input, via conventional dynamic microphone, and translate the input into the corresponding drum hit performance. For example, if the human user issues a bass-kick voice sound, the robot will recognize it and strike the bass drum; and likewise for the hi-hat/snare and clap. Our design will minimally cover 3 different drum hit types (bass hit, snare hit, clap hit), and respond with minimal latency.

This would involve amplifying the analog signal (as dynamic mics drive fairly low gain signals), which would be sampled by a dsPIC33F DSP/MCU (or comparable chipset), and processed for trigger event recognition. This entails applying Short-Time Fourier Transform analysis to provide spectral content data to our event detection algorithm (i.e. recognizing the "control" signal from the human user). The MCU functionality of the dsPIC33F would be used for relaying the trigger commands to the actuator circuits controlling the robot.

The robot in question would be small; about the size of ventriloquist dummy. The "drum set" would be scaled accordingly (think pots and pans, like a child would play with). Actuators would likely be based on solenoids, as opposed to motors.

Beyond these minimal capabilities, we would add analog prefiltering of the input audio signal, and amplification of the drum hits, as bonus features if the development and implementation process goes better than expected.

Low Cost Myoelectric Prosthetic Hand

Michael Fatina, Jonathan Pan-Doh, Edward Wu

Low Cost Myoelectric Prosthetic Hand

Featured Project

According to the WHO, 80% of amputees are in developing nations, and less than 3% of that 80% have access to rehabilitative care. In a study by Heidi Witteveen, “the lack of sensory feedback was indicated as one of the major factors of prosthesis abandonment.” A low cost myoelectric prosthetic hand interfaced with a sensory substitution system returns functionality, increases the availability to amputees, and provides users with sensory feedback.

We will work with Aadeel Akhtar to develop a new iteration of his open source, low cost, myoelectric prosthetic hand. The current revision uses eight EMG channels, with sensors placed on the residual limb. A microcontroller communicates with an ADC, runs a classifier to determine the user’s type of grip, and controls motors in the hand achieving desired grips at predetermined velocities.

As requested by Aadeel, the socket and hand will operate independently using separate microcontrollers and interface with each other, providing modularity and customizability. The microcontroller in the socket will interface with the ADC and run the grip classifier, which will be expanded so finger velocities correspond to the amplitude of the user’s muscle activity. The hand microcontroller controls the motors and receives grip and velocity commands. Contact reflexes will be added via pressure sensors in fingertips, adjusting grip strength and velocity. The hand microcontroller will interface with existing sensory substitution systems using the pressure sensors. A PCB with a custom motor controller will fit inside the palm of the hand, and interface with the hand microcontroller.

Project Videos