Faculty Advisor

Bitar, Stephen John

Faculty Advisor

Clancy, Edward A.


Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic degenerative muscle disease that occurs primarily in males. Since there is no cure, working to improve the quality of life for affected individuals is important. This project produced an assistive aid that allows a DMD patient to play the ukulele despite muscle degeneration. A hand controller was built with sensors that react to changes in finger-tip force. The changes are processed using a microcontroller, which signals electronic actuators to depress ukulele strings, much like one’s fingers would on the neck of a ukulele. The device eliminates the need for the user’s left hand to move along the neck of the instrument in order to successfully play it. The device may also benefit those with similar muscular deficits, including stroke patients.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2016


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Biomedical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering