Tongue drive system turns mouth into virtual keyboard


Researchers at Georgia Tech are working on a Tongue Drive System, which transforms the tongue into a tool that can manipulate computers and manage appliances and wheelchairs. This project has huge implications for the disabled, especially for those with few motor skills and limited movement. Many disabled Americans are paralyzed from the neck down, and this system could be a literal lifesaver, providing them with a method of communication and control over their own lives. Scientists have been attracted to the tongue’s potential for a long time. It provides several advantages over using other organs or appendages. It’s very sensitive, tactile, is not connected to the spinal cord, and does not usually end up being harmed in accidents. By placing a tiny magnet underneath the tongue, it’s transformed into a virtual keyboard. Sensors placed in the cheek track the magnet’s movement and processes the commands into directions for electronics, be it a wheelchair or a home appliance. We’re excited to see where this will go.

Comments

  1. eggnog says:

    with enough work this will probably used by the military at some point in the future also.

  2. andre says:

    this is pretty amazing stuff. Wonder if anyone’s considered building wireless power into the retainer to keep it charged and/or send information to a larger receiver…

    also it might be worth looking into using GMR based magnetic sensors (instead of a Hall effect sensor they use a very small wire which changes resistance) and are an order of magnitude more sensitive than HE sensors and far more directional and low powered. They can also be made into an X-Y array pad, sensing the magnet’s location to high precision.

    regards,-A

  3. gt says:

    Imagine the line of women you would have at your door once they learned how you interact with the world..

  4. Mark says:

    Why is it always ‘disabled Americans’, not ‘disabled people’?

  5. octel says:

    mark, clearly the two are not interchangeable!

  6. Robert says:

    This technology has been around for years check out http://www.newAbilities.com

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