Superstar

The Tongue Drive Lets the Disabled Control Their Wheelchairs with Mouths

By: Meghan Young - Published: • References: popsci and dvice
The Tongue Drive is an ingenious device that allows disabled and paralyzed individuals to control their wheelchairs with their mouths. A cross between an upper retainer and a tongue piercing, the system is simply slipped into the mouth in order to help one cruise around easily, conveniently and, most importantly, hands-free.

Developed by researchers from Georgia Tech, the Tongue Drive's magnetic piercing activates various sensors along the retainer. When the piercing is pressed against specific areas of the waterproof retainer, it sends signals to move in particular directions. The Tongue Drive works with iPods and iPhones to translate these signals into actual commands.

Currently in its testing phase, the Tongue Drive is part of a new crop of wheelchair controls that are highly customizable.