This robotic guitar hand can help you master those complicated chords

robotic guitar hand will roboguitar 2

If you’ve ever tried to learn how to play an instrument, you probably know that feeling when someone’s breathing down your neck, barely letting you get a note out before they bombard you with more of their so-called “expertise.” Well, for those of you looking to pick up the guitar or simply improve your skills, the new robotic guitar hand dubbed “RoboTar” may be the way to master those chord fingerings without having to endure your friend’s unasked-for advice.

RoboTar essentially does half the handwork involved in playing guitar for you by holding the strings down on the necessary frets to play individual notes or create a chord. Either way, all the human player has to do is pluck or strum the right strings at the right time. This is, in practice, easier said than done – the RoboTar doesn’t automate the playing experience by any means. It brings the player halfway, effectively letting him or her focus solely on improving their strumming rhythm, endurance, and accuracy.

The system runs by connecting to an accompanying app via Android or PC (through Bluetooth). The user can program the app to play any chord imaginable, even those that are physically impossible for the human hand to achieve on its own. Once the user has loaded into the program all of the chords they’ll need, he or she arranges them in whatever order is desired. Then, once RoboTar is activated, all the user has to do is press down on a foot-pedal to trigger the device to move on to the next note or chord in the sequence. Take note, though: The RoboTar can only work on a guitar’s first four frets.

Kevin Krumwiede came up with the idea for the RoboTar — which is about midway through its Kickstarter campaign‘s funding period — when he was inspired to help his disabled father pick up the guitar again. Krumwiede’s father was only 49 when he had a stroke which took away his ability to finger chords. But because RoboTar so effectively takes care of holding chord and note fingerings, his father is playing again. Krumwiede’s device is interchangeably designed for both left- and right-handed strumming. The Kickstarter page explains that the RoboTar has many potential applications ranging from music therapy, to assisting fully functional players wishing to learn how to play and sing at the same time.

Krumwiede’s invention only has 15 days to gather a pretty steep $225,000. But even if RoboTar doesn’t come to fruition as a result of this particular crowdfunding effort, the fact that Krumwiede’s father is playing again with the help of a prototype indicates that we’re already at the cusp of a new, robotically assisted world.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Mobile

Schubert left Symphony No. 8 unfinished. A smartphone’s A.I. just completed it

We all know computers can be used to make music, but can artificial intelligence be used to not only generate music, but complete one of the most famous unfinished symphonies of all time? Huawei has used its A.I. to find out.
Music

Spotify could terminate accounts of listeners using ad blockers

Bad news for those who block annoying ads on Spotify -- the company has updated its Terms of Service to explicitly ban ad blockers. Consequences for users found circumventing the rules include suspending or terminating your account.
Home Theater

Apple's new AirPods could arrive within months, pack health sensor tech

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.
Music

Donald Glover is (somehow) first rapper to win a Grammy for Song Of The Year

Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) has become the first hip-hop artist to win Song Of The Year, an award that had illuded countless other popular rap artists for decades.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Music

The 25 best love songs on Spotify for your wooing pleasure

Valentine's Day comes but once a year, but love is forever. If you're hoping to impress your significant other -- or if you're trying to procure one -- we put together a list of the best love songs for your wooing pleasure.
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Gaming

After Twitch ban for using homophobic language, musician Deadmau5 apologizes

Electronic musician Deadmau5 has been suspended from Twitch after using homophobic language during a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds match. The musician later said he wouldn't be returning.