Faculty Advisor

Ault, Holly Keyes


Standard, toe-operated, bass drum pedals require the user to have both leg coordination and strength, both of which can be troublesome attributes for the average drummer. Ergonomic studies, however, revealed that the toe is the most natural balance point and the heel the most natural striker for foot-actuated devices. To improve the ergonomics of the bass drum pedal the goal of this project was to develop a heel-operated pedal design. Design specifications for this pedal were developed based on benchmarking of existing toe-operated pedals. The final heel-operated design utilizes a four-bar linkage as the working mechanism. The team was able to successfully design, manufacture, and test a prototype of the envisioned pedal.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2011


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering