The majority of people who suffer the partial or total loss of the hand’s motor skills report a drastic reduction in the quality of life due to the consequent inability to carry out many activities of daily life. Performing tasks often taken for granted, such as buttoning a shirt, using the phone, or grasping utensils for cooking or eating becomes frustrating or almost impossible due to reduced grip strength and poor motor control of the hand that afflicts these people.
A research team from Harvard University and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, coordinated by Prof. Conor Walsh and led by Dr. Leonardo Cappello, has recently developed a wearable robotic system with the purpose of helping these people.
An inventor on the western slope is trying to help everyone ski, particularly people with spinal cord injuries.
HAYDEN — At his workshop near the town of Hayden, Wes Dearborn has an inspiring view that has helped inspire an invention to help people with disabilities learn to ski.
“Get people out skiing again,” said Dearborn.
He has spent the last 7 years working on something he calls the “Sit Ski Trainer.”
For quadriplegics, life can be extremely isolated. Those without the ability to control their arms, legs or head must rely entirely on a caregiver to move, or even turn around, their wheelchair.
One cause of quadriplegia is the neurodegenerative disease ALS, which afflicts an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Because the disease is progressive, those afflicted can go from having completely normal motor control to being fully quadriplegic without the ability to talk, in the span of just a few years. Previously having the ability to move independently can make the loss of movement even more difficult for those with ALS.
Device is like having a ‘mouse inside your mouth,’ says Emma Mogus
An Ontario teen has won a $2,000 science prize for creating and building a computer mouse that is controlled by the tongue.
Emma Mogus, 17, from Oakville, built the TiC, or Tongue-Interface-Communication. There are five buttons inside a mouthguard-type device, which is connected to a computer. Each button controls a different mouse direction.
New device would let severely paralyzed people surf the Web
PHOENIX, Ariz. — A new tongue-controlled computer mouse would allow someone with no working arms or legs to use a computer. With such a device, people with even severe physical handicaps might navigate cyberspace. The new mouse system was unveiled last week by its designer, a Canadian teen.
More than 250,000 Americans alone have spinal cord injuries, according to experts at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Some 118,000 of these people are quadriplegic (Quah-drah-PLEE-jik), meaning both of their arms and legs are paralyzed. For these individuals, using a computer poses a big challenge. Some researchers have invented ways for such people to control a computer using brain waves or the movements of their eyes. But now, Emma Mogus has come up with an easier way for many such patients to control a computer: using their tongue.
A thin and flexible implant that can be applied directly to the surface of the spinal cord to administer electrical and chemical stimulation has been developed by scientists in Switzerland. The e-Dura implant, made from a silicon substrate embedded with electrodes, replicates the properties of the soft living tissue around the spinal cord; meaning it can remain in situ without discomfort.
In 2012 the researchers showed how electrical-chemical stimulation could restore lower body movement in rats with spinal cord injuries.
Prototype hardware and software to implement sip and puff on an iPhone for environment controls.