Kathryn Lindsay
February 20, 2016 11:15 am

Humans can be cyborgs now. Welcome to the future.

Don’t worry, that’s not as scary as it sounds. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have teamed up to invent a robotic arm all in the name of music. Specifically, it acts as a third arm for drummers who want to take their skills to the next level. This two foot long machine is funded by the National Science Foundation, responding to human gestures and music to seamlessly aid drummers as they pound it out.

For creators like Gil Weinberg, a professor and the director of the Center for Music Technology at Georgia Tech, this is just the tip of the iceberg. “If you augment humans with smart, wearable robotics, they could interact with their environment in a much more sophisticated manner,” he explains. “The third arm provides a much richer and more creative experience, allowing the human to play many drums simultaneously with virtuosity and sophistication that are not otherwise possible.”

There are a lot of unbelievable things about this robot. It can improvise to the beat. It’s aware of where on the body it’s located. It knows how to move using human motion capture technology. It isn’t yet linked to human brain activity, but according to the researchers, that’s next.

This is invention is both extremely impressive while also being relatively simple in concept, so it’s a pretty clear indicator of what’s to come in the world of science and technology. Before we know it, humans could be half-robot the same way someone can be half-Irish.

Instead of having an existential freakout about that possibility, watch the awesome video of the robot arm below!

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