We do know that life in a wheelchair is not a peach in terms of mobility, despite the strides made to make everywhere more accessible, there is still plenty of work to be done. In addition, not everyone can get around in a wheelchair by themselves – especially those whose limbs have limited capcity movement. Perhaps the research group from Miyazaki University might be able to help this group – thanks to their system that controls a wheelchair using the expressive muscles in one’s face.
This is what the team had to say about their project, “This system is intended for people who are paralyzed from the neck down, and people who are gradually losing the use of their muscles due to muscular dystrophy or ALS. People who can no longer use a joystick still want to move around independently. So we wanted to create a system for controlling an electric wheelchair using the expressive muscles, which remain functional at a relatively late stage of dystrophy.”
Blinking your left and right eyes will have the wheelchair move in the corresponding direction, and you stop simply be clenching your teeth. Good thing we blink both eyes simultaneously, so that you won’t end up zig zagging all over the place. Hopefully an affordable commercial version will be released in due time.