The Georgia Institute of Technology in the US has done it again. A research team led by Professor Gil Weinberg have created a robotic arm that is designed to play alongside and attached to a human drummer.

First the arm is secured to the drummer’s shoulder with a harness. Then, as the human drummer begins to play, the third arm is able to determine where it needs to be. If the drummer moves to play the high hat cymbal, the robotic arm moves to the play the ride cymbal. If the drummer moves to the snare, the arm switches to the tom drum.

Once it has approached the correct drum, the arm uses its built-in accelerometers to sense the distance and proximity to the drum. On-board motors ensure the stick is parallel to the the playing surface. And since the arm was programmed using human motion capture technology, it is able to move naturally and intuitively allowing the arm to rise, lower, and twist to make solid contact with the drum.