An MIT researcher has developed a tool for students learning to play the drums which can speed up the time it takes for newcomers to pick up the instrument. The device, a robotic arm designer Graham Grindlay calls the "Haptic Guidance System" (or HAGUS), uses a drumstick fastened to a set of motors which a user holds while being led on beat. A brace holds the arm in place while the machine plays back a pre-recorded pattern -- in studies, Grindlay found that students with no drumming experience were able to hit the drum 18 percent more effectively after using the HAGUS. A spokesman from the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford says the work does a "wonderful job" demonstrating the ability of haptic devices to train beginning musicians. So... can a Rock Band implementation of this be far behind?