Wireless intraoral tongue control of an assistive robotic arm for individuals with tetraplegia

For an individual with tetraplegia assistive robotic arms provide a potentially invaluable opportunity for rehabilitation. However, there is a lack of available control methods to allow these individuals to fully control the assistive arms.

This research shows that it is possible for an individual with tetraplegia to use the tongue to fully control all 14 movements of an assistive robotic arm in a three dimensional space using a wireless intraoral control system, thus allowing for numerous activities of daily living. We developed a tongue-based robotic control method incorporating a multi-sensor inductive tongue interface. One abled-bodied individual and one individual with tetraplegia performed a proof of concept study by controlling the robot with their tongue using direct actuator control and endpoint control, respectively.