A new prototype guitar accessory aims to make the guitar more accessible to people with limb differences. The Armstrum allows a one-handed person to play guitar via a lever equipped with a plectrum, controlled with a set of pedals
The team of engineers, an Indian research group named Maker’s Asylum, said of the project: “the goal of designing for differently-abled users in many cases is to allow them to access conventional instruments. This creates a level-playing field for all, allows collaboration and cultural inclusivity, and is also more accessible when it comes to availability of parts and equipment.”
After going through various control methods such as breath-based or body-movement based, the team eventually settled on control via two pedals, one for control of the lever and the other for control over the plectrum.
Maker’s Asylum noted that people with one hand have found various methods of continuing to play, such as attaching a plectrum to their elbow or prosthetics, however also said that the Armstrum has fewer constraints and is intended to be a teaching tool for beginners – as the alternatives have quite a steep learning curve: “We found that the design we came up with did not have too many constraints as it was designed specifically for a single-handed user. While this design is not as fine-tuned, it is one way to start thinking about access to guitar-playing for the differently-abled.”
You can see the prototype in action in Maker’s Asylum’s video below.