Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Tongue-Controlled Devices

PostedSeptember 20, 2009

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Randy Atkins: When a person is paralyzed from the neck down, tongue movement is unaffected.  So Maysam Ghovanloo, of Georgia Tech, is engineering tongue-controlled wheelchairs.

Maysam Ghovanloo: Touch a particular tooth in your mouth and that could mean turn the wheelchair to the right.

Randy Atkins: A small magnet is placed near the tip of the tongue, using adhesive or a piercing.  Movement is detected by magnetic field sensors in a headset and the information sent wirelessly to a computer.

Maysam Ghovanloo: The computer then can be interfaced to a whole variety of devices.

Randy Atkins: From wheelchairs to an internet browser or garage door opener.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103-point-5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.

While the technology is still in development, it could be ready in about a year.