Engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new device that will help those with severe disabilities, such as those who are immobilized by a spinal cord injury, live fuller and more independent lives.
Assistant professor Maysam Ghovanloo and graduate student Xueliang Huo developed The Tongue Drive system which allows users to direct a cursor on a computer screen or drive a powered wheelchair with just their tongues. A magnet is attached to the tongue by implantation, piercing or tissue adhesive since the tongue is directly connected to the brain by a cranial nerve and typically remains undamaged after a spinal cord injury.
The number of possibilities for this technology are just being discovered as researchers probe how many tongue movements can be applied to commands that are useful to someone with a high-end spinal cord injury. They are also working out additional applications such as delivering commands from the simple touching of various teeth.
For more information, please visit the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.