Design of Inductive Sensors for Tongue Control System for Computers and Assistive DevicesBy Lontis, Eugen R.; Struijk, Lotte N.S.A.; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp 266-271
Publication Date: July 2010
Paper introduces a novel design of inductive sensors in printed circuit board (PCB) technology for a tongue control system. The system provides a quadriplegic user with an interface for interaction with a computer or for control of an assistive device. The sensors consist of air-cored coils and an activation unit of soft ferromagnetic material that, if placed in or at the core of the coil, changes the inductance of the coil. This mainly functions as a switch, similar to a key from a keyboard. The paper presents a manufacturing method of PCBs with air-core inductive sensors which has been used in a fully integrated wireless tongue control system consisting of two PCB panels, corresponding to a keyboard area and mouse area, connected through a flex print to a PCB mounted with driving electronics, and a battery. The flex print allowed integration of the system into a plastic mouthpiece framed by a dental retainer. The system connects directly to a PC through a USB port, emulating a standard mouse and keyboard without additional software installed on the PC. In experiments with able-bodied participants, mouse performance was comparable to that of a standard joystick. The authors conclude that PCB technology for inductive sensors allows flexibility in design, automation of production, and ease of possible integration with supplying electronics. Moreover, the basic switch function of the inductive sensor can be extended to two-dimensional movement direction for pointing devices.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )