Here’s another medical advancement we are happy to report: the Tongue Drive System now enables people to move an automatic wheelchair by moving their tongues.
Made for people with high-level spinal cord injuries, the Tongue Drive includes a dental retainer with sensors to detect tongue movement. “By moving the sensors inside the mouth, we have created a Tongue Drive System with increased mechanical stability and comfort that is nearly unnoticeable,” says Maysam Ghovanloo of Georgia Institute of Technology.
The signals from sensors are transmitted to an iPod or iPhone wirelessly, which then acts as a joystick in a powered wheelchair. Trials for the Tongue Drive System involved 11 patients, who were successful in understanding and using the system.
This groundbreaking mobility system for paralyzed patients was presented days ago at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference. The system is supported by the National Institutes of Health and Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, to name a few.
via Georgia Tech