Watch: Google’s TensorFlow-powered prosthetic arm helps amputee drummer play again

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Watch: Google’s TensorFlow-powered prosthetic arm helps amputee drummer play again

Words by Will Brewster

The development comes courtesy of the tech giant's open-source machine learning platform.

Google has demonstrated the potential of its machine learning platform in a new video that depicts a drummer being able to perform naturally again thanks to a sophisticated robotic prosthetic arm.

Read the latest industry news here.

Throughout the video, Atlanta drummer Jason Barnes, who lost part of his lower right arm in an electrical accident nine years ago, can be seen performing drums with the aid of a prosthetic arm powered by Google’s machine learning platform TensorFlow.

Barnes, who was determined to continue playing drums after his accident, partnered with Georgia’s Tech Centre for Music Technology, which led to both parties conceiving the idea for the robotic prosthetic to replace his normal body-controlled prosthetic.

The robotic prothesis, which operates via electromyographic technology, converts electrical signals from the remaining part of Barnes’ arm into data which is then processed by TensorFlow, with the program articulating the messages to the point where Barnes felt that the robotic arm felt normal to use.

β€œI felt lucky to be a part of this process,” Barnes said of the advanced development in a statement shared today.

β€œIn the past, there has always been a learning curve with me having to adjust to a new device. But this way, it was the device that was adjusted to me.”

Watch a video documenting the fascinating process below.

Find out more via Google today.