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New technology provides greater control to paraplegic pianists

Laura June
10.29.08
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Technology allowing paraplegics to operate the right pedal of a piano has been developed by a team of scientists in Heidelberg Germany, trumping earlier systems which didn't allow for half pedal or flutter variations. The device consists of a tiny remote module that's placed inside the pianist's right cheek, and a wireless transmitter and motor attached to the pedals of the piano. A small battery in the left cheek of the user provides up to twelve hours of power. The player grits their teeth when they want to control the pedal -- the module is sensitive to different amounts of pressure, which allow the pianist greater control over footing than previous tools. From the sounds of it, this thing would work just as well on a wah pedal, right?

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