RoboTar Guitar Chord Robot helps you Play Guitar! (Canceled)
RoboTar Guitar Chord Robot helps you Play Guitar! (Canceled)
RoboTar plays chords while you strum. You control chord changes with a foot pedal. For singers, those with disabilities or for fun!
RoboTar plays chords while you strum. You control chord changes with a foot pedal. For singers, those with disabilities or for fun! Read more
RoboTar is for Anyone who wants to play guitar but cannot.
- Fact - Playing guitar is fun!
- Fact - Everyone sings their favorite songs but few people can accompany themselves... so they are left to sing with the radio in their cars (ok, we can't prove that).
- Fact - There are over 1 million guitars sold annually in the US...most are sold to hopeful learners but most guitars end up under beds or in closets (we can't prove that either but it seems reasonable).
- According to Music Trades statistics, only 5-10% of new learners are still playing regularly after 5 years.
- The demand to learn guitar is massive, but the reality is that very few can dedicate the required time to play effectively.
But really, WHY let a Robot Play guitar?
- Fact - Sorry... Some seasoned guitarists might be upset that we're giving people a way to "cheat"... but the main reason we created RoboTar goes much deeper. We agree... if you want to learn how to play guitar.... then LEARN. But if you simply don't have the time to dedicate to becoming a proficient guitar player, we KNOW there is still fun in playing most of the guitar.
- ROBOTAR PUTS THE FUN BACK IN.... IT DOESN'T TAKE IT OUT.
- But here is the real reason RoboTar exists. Our primariy motivation for RoboTar is to let people play that cannot. A few more facts:
- There are nearly 795K people who suffer stroke each year in the US.
- There are over 100K people in the US living with the loss of an upper limb.
Nearly 7% of people over the age of 26 suffer from hand Osteoarthritis and increases to over 8% for those over 60.
What is RoboTar?
The best way to understand is to see videos of other people playing: Here are some demos at the Maker Faire we just participated in last month. We always have a lot of fun demoing.
Some may still need a little explanation, so here it goes:
RoboTar is a robotic chord hand that allows anyone to play guitar simply by strumming or fingerpicking and changing chords with a foot pedal. RoboTar sits on the first four frets of a guitar. The most common question we get asked is "Can it slide up the neck"? The answer is, it doesn't need to. RoboTar can actuate chords in the 2 and a half octaves of notes in those frets and create any chord in any key without the limitation of human fingers.
The best way to understand RoboTar is to watch our project video or try it. We had some amazing demos at the Maker Faire and the Solid 2014 conference in San Francisco. Unfortunately, we can't demo to everyone yet, so Click on our video above to see RoboTar in action and hear our story.
RoboTar was inspired by my father who, after a lifetime passion of playing guitar, lost the ability to play due to a debilitating stroke. I created RoboTar to give my father, and those like him that lost the use of one hand or arm for any reason, the ability to play guitar again.
For Everyone That Wants to Play Guitar...
Who is RoboTar for?? The answer is anyone...While RoboTar was inspired by someone who lost the ability to play with both hands, many additional applications have emerged including:
- Music teachers and new learners can use RoboTar to learn strumming and picking independent from chord formation providing early gratification and therefore continued motivation.
- Music therapists and physical therapists might use RoboTar to give their patients a new outlet
- Seasoned guitarists and composers can use RoboTar in the same way a piano is used by using RoboTar to drive chords while the player experiments and develops melodies further up the neck in real time.
- Children can learn to play without the pain of forming chords with delicate fingers.
How does it work?
RoboTar attaches temporarily to the neck of any standard guitar. It communicates to software running on a PC or a handheld android device and can be used with Bluetooth or USB. The software allows you to use default chords or build your own custom chords or single notes... even chords the human hand can't create.
You can then create songs including lyrics and chords in the sequence required. When you play the song, you control the chords at your own tempo by pressing a foot pedal to actuate the next chord in the sequence. A foot pedal is the default way of cycling through the chords of a song but an alternative option is to use the button on an Android phone over Bluetooth to actuate the chords. The PC Player and Chord/Song editing function and Android player that lets one play without a laptop or PC are flexible, feature rich and ready for use.
See more RoboTar in Action...
How will we use the campaign money?
Because we have made so much progress on the prototype version and software, we will use the money from the campaign to fund the first production run of the current version to deliver your rewards.
Manufacturing Vendors and Process
The prototype hardware and software is fully functional and we already have the device in the hands of users. For production manufacturing, we have a suppliers, costs and lead times for volume production from XCentric Mold for injection molded parts, from Hitec for the actuators, from Rush PCB for the main circuit board PCB and assembly, from K&S for RoboTar's fingers and from FastFasteners for required hardware. We plan to keep part sourcing and assembly local in our workshop to ensure appropriate control for the first phases of RoboTar but have also started discussions and tours of Assembly factories in the San Francisco Bay area in the event volume exceeds the capacity of our current facility. We fully expect to be able to handle the 300 units locally before needing to expand. We will assess the setup and lead-time required for external assembly but will commit to delivering the first 300 units with the fastest method depending on that assessment. We will keep everyone posted and will listen to your feedback.
Risks and challenges
Most of our functional risks have already been addressed through testing, software enhancements and some hardware upgrades such as more robust actuators with burn out protection and a servo calibration enhancement that enables each user to calibrate RoboTar to their own guitar. We will continue to improve the software through supporter feedback, but it is ready to go!
Other risks are typical for hardware development including unknown limitations to manufacturing processes, unforeseen design for manufacturing issues and possible production quality issues and parts availability and electronics certification. We are hedging these risks through the pre-work we have already done, through working with US based suppliers and manufacturers and providing ample lead time to accommodate the manufacturing process. Therefore we request patience from our supporters. We are dedicated to deliver and understand the complexities of hardware manufacturing and want to set reasonable expectations for timing.
- (40 days)