Computer Science KS3 & 4 / GCSE: Problem Solved - One Handed Bass

BBC Radio 1 presenter Dev Griffin asks whether computational thinking can be used to help adapt musical instruments for players with a disability.

He meets Jacob Harrison from the Augmented Instruments Laboratory at Queen Mary University of London who has used a digital / analogue interface to adapt a bass guitar for a player with an upper limb disability.

Animated sequences explain the functionality of the digital / analogue interface of Jacob's Robot Hand. As part of applying analytic and computing skills Dev speculates on other applications for Jacob’s solution.

Teachers Notes

Programming using Pure Data looks very similar to pseudo code or a flowchart. Pupils could write Jacobs process in pseudo-code?

Putting themselves in Jacobs shoes, pupils could adapt something like the Pure Data patch as a flowchart or code to perform another action. Say you constructed a machine that can hit a drum with a drumstick – what would you have to think about to be able to programme it ? Coding could instruct it to strike hard or soft - or trigger a specific rhythm.

Pupils could discuss whether you could use intelligent algorithms to get a device to be creative and compose its own songs. How would you instruct a robot arm to paint a picture - or make a sandwich - or select a product from the shelves of an automated warehouse?

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Computer Science. This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland.

More from the series Computer Science: Problem Solved

Programming a robot delivery vehicle
How to create Smart Cities
Creating secure messaging systems