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Introduction and preliminary evaluation of the Tongue Drive System: Wireless tongue-operated assistive technology for people with little or no upper-limb function

Xueliang Huo, MS, et al.

Figure. Tongue Drive System component diagram and proof-of-concept prototype on dental model.

The Tongue Drive System (TDS) is a new assistive technology being developed for people with severe disabilities. It is designed to substitute some lost arm and hand functions with tongue movements. The TDS is wireless, unobtrusive, and noncontact. It consists of (1) a small permanent magnet the size of a grain of rice that is secured to the tongue by implantation, piercing, or tissue adhesives and (2) magnetic field sensors mounted on a headset outside the mouth or on an orthodontic brace inside the mouth. The sensor output signals are wirelessly transmitted to a computer that users carry on their clothing or wheelchair; they are then processed to pull out the user commands. Users could then apply these commands to access a desktop computer, navigate a power wheelchair, or control their environment.



Volume 45 Number 6, 2008
   Pages 921 — 930


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