Daily Archives: October 12, 2007
Steering a wheelchair with your tongue sounds impressive enough. Doing so with your mouth closed and gadget-free is the feat allowed by a tongue-tracking earpiece due on sale later this year.
Typically, quadriplegics must suck or blow into a straw to steer a wheelchair or move a computer cursor. That can be unhygienic and irritating for the user, says Ravi Vaidyanathan, an engineer at the University of Southampton, UK.
CARLSBAD — Inside an office building in a Carlsbad industrial park Saturday, dozens of people stood up from their wheelchairs and took their first steps all over again.
Some of the 30 spinal cord injury sufferers — many of whom were young men who lost feeling in their legs after a car wreck or diving accident — walked about 25 feet with the help of physical therapists and trainers.
Others, such as 26-year-old Dan Cummings of Austin, Texas, were further along in their recovery, but marked milestones by walking longer distances.
“I was told I’d never walk again, never feel anything below my shoulders — all that stuff,” said Cummings, who walked half a mile in a little more than 44 minutes Saturday.