Rupp Develops Bite Splint for Paraplegic PianistsBy Rehab Management: Rehab Today,
Publication Date: November 3, 2008
News feature describes a wireless system enabling paraplegic pianists to operate the right pedal of a concert grand piano. Developed at the spinal cord injury unit of the Orthopedic Clinic of Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany, the invention is a bite splint with a pressure-sensitive sensor that the pianist holds in his or her mouth to control the pedal according to the markings on the music. A miniature transmitter placed in the right cheek forwards the sensor signals to an electric motor attached to the piano’s pedal. The splint uses a highly sensitive strength sensor embedded in the chewing surface of the splint, which is attached to the upper jaw. The disabled pianist can thus control the entire range of pedal action, including intermediate positions and speed of depression. By literally gritting his or her teeth to a greater or lesser extent, the pianist can achieve the same differentiated sounds as a non-disabled player. Research is underway on enabling the control of the other two pedals by means of tongue movements.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://www.rehabpub.com/RMN/2008-11-03_03.asp