News Release 08-122
Tongue Drive Technology
Using only tongue motions, individuals with paralyzed limbs may be able to use new system to take control of technology
July 21, 2008
This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.Researchers have developed an experimental tongue-based system that may allow individuals with debilitating disabilities to control wheelchairs, computers and other devices with relative ease and no sophistication.
Because the tongue is directly connected to the brain via cranial nerves, it usually remains mobile when other body parts lose function to disease or accidents. That mobility underlies the new system, which may one day provide greater flexibility and simplicity to individuals who would otherwise use sip-and-puff controls or brain implants.
Electrical engineer Maysam Ghovanloo developed the Tongue Drive system in collaboration with graduate student Xueliang Huo and presented the findings June 29 at the 2008 Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C."Tongue Drive is inherently wireless and touch-free because it relies on a tiny magnetic tracer attached to the tongue with no power consumption," said Ghovanloo. "Tongue movements are also fast, accurate and do not require much thinking, concentration or effort."
Developed with funding from the National Science Foundation and additional support from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the technology is already showing speed and flexibility that rivals or surpasses other technologies.
For further details regarding the Tongue Drive, see the Georgia Tech press release at: http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/newsrelease/tongue-drive.htm.
Xueliang Huo moves his tongue to direct the Tongue Drive system to move the powered wheelchair.
Credit and Larger Version
Ephraim P. Glinert, NSF, (703) 292-8930, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maysam Ghovanloo, Georgia Institute of Technology, (404) 385-7048, email: email@example.com
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