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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2012 Jun;59(6):1787-96. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2012.2194713. Epub 2012 Apr 16.

Evaluation of a smartphone platform as a wireless interface between tongue drive system and electric-powered wheelchairs.

Author information

1
GT-Bionics Laboratory, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA. jkim448@gatech.edu

Abstract

Tongue drive system (TDS) is a new wireless assistive technology (AT) for the mobility impaired population. It provides users with the ability to drive powered wheelchairs (PWC) and access computers using their unconstrained tongue motion. Migration of the TDS processing unit and user interface platform from a bulky personal computer to a smartphone (iPhone) has significantly facilitated its usage by turning it into a true wireless and wearable AT. After implementation of the necessary interfacing hardware and software to allow the smartphone to act as a bridge between the TDS and PWC, the wheelchair navigation performance and associated learning was evaluated in nine able-bodied subjects in five sessions over a 5-week period. Subjects wore magnetic tongue studs over the duration of the study and drove the PWC in an obstacle course with their tongue using three different navigation strategies; namely unlatched, latched, and semiproportional. Qualitative aspects of using the TDS-iPhone-PWC interface were also evaluated via a five-point Likert scale questionnaire. Subjects showed more than 20% improvement in the overall completion time between the first and second sessions, and maintained a modest improvement of ∼9% per session over the following three sessions.

PMID:
22531737
PMCID:
PMC3568156
DOI:
10.1109/TBME.2012.2194713
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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