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Actuators

These are key to the project. They allow individuals to communicate their musical intentions. Actuators can be plugged directly into a variety of bespoke synthesizers or sound file players. See [Projects].

Picture

Description

Notes

Large Push Button

A very large push button.

If motor skills are imprecise, this push button may still make an easy target to press and generate a basic chord, percussion, monotone sound, sound sequence or audio file.

This is very simple to make from off the shelf components. From recent interactions, mounting one of these on a board would make it more stable.

Finger drums - chords - tones

Finger drums, chords, single tones or sound files.

These actuators were designed to demonstrate that very little force is required to trigger a sound.

They are made out of long levered micro switches.

You can start with a simple "A" chord in month one; "A" and "E" chords in month two, "A", "E" and "D" chords in month three etc. This increasing complexity of motor action can be data logged for linear baseline progress analysis.

Joy Stick

Joy Stick a familiar tool for users of assitive technology.

4 way operation,left to right, front and back
Small Buttons - 4 way

Finger tip buttons

These require only slight pressure and a very small movement of the finger tip to operate.
Foot operated pressure pads

Floor Pressure Pads

These can often be seen in action at The National Museum of Computing during holiday times. Look out for "Sound Bytes".

They are used to create either a floor drum or floor guitar.

They are based on alarm system pressure pads and are readily available.

Foot Switches

Foot Switches

These can be used in same way as the pressure pads. They have the additional advantage that two can sometimes be placed under one foot.
Ultrasonic range finder

Ultrasonic Range Finder

These are very useful for creating air guitars or air drums. See Air-Drum-Flute-Guitar. Not all users like to touch devices so a range finder can still allow interaction.
Many buttons

Many push buttons.

Buttons for every situation.
Sliced PCB copper strips

Capacitive / Proximity Sensing

Copper tape, or blank printed circuit boards can be utilised for proximity sensing. Depending on how the appropriate parameters are set they can trigger sound by direct contact or even from several centimetres away. Thus a normal table can be turned into an electronic drum kit. See the "Planxtone" or the "talking whiteboard" for examples of use.
Actuar Collection

A Collection of Actuators

It sometimes useful to have range of actuators t see what works best. A more bespoke device can be created later.

 

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