Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tongue Driving System: Tongue Controlled Wheelchair For Quadriplegics


picture of headset, piercing and app for TDS


Professor Maysam Ghovanloo at Georgia Tech has been working hard since 2005 on a system that lets a user control their wheelchair with their tongue. Tongue! His research has borne fruit, and the results are pretty incredible.

This system is most beneficial for people who have high level spinal cord injuries or are quadriplegic.

This is how it works: The user has a magnet placed inside their tongue in the form of a piercing. The
the phone interface for TDS user also wears a headset which actually detects the location of the magnet as the tongue moves. The location is grabbed and wirelessly communicated to an app installed on the user's phone which in turn sends it to the wheelchair and the command is finally executed.

This method is found to be three times faster than the traditional sip and puff method.  Not only can it be used to just maneuver a wheelchair, but to play video games and use computers or phones too. 11 volunteers helped with the testing and it was found that their performance significantly improved between training session one and two, suggesting how easy it is to use.

The idea behind the study was not just to see how accurate and fast TDS (Tongue Driving System) is but also to prove to insurance companies that tongue control is indeed useful.

The next step in this research is to enhance the TDS by getting rid of the headset.

Watch this video to learn more about what professor Ghovanloo has to say about TDS.


Go here if you are interested in reading the published paper.

Source: The Verge

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