An innovative control device which allows hand-free maneuvering of wheelchairs through nasal-flow indication for quadriplegic or the highly physically disabled. this nasal-flow controlled joystick also enables hand-free computer access to allow communication with Locked In Syndrome (LIS) patients. The loss of the ability to control devices and moreover to communicate due to a disease, injury or paralysis is devastating. The prototype example of loss of the ability to communicate is a state called “locked in syndrome” (LIS). This phenomenon appears among many car accident survivals as well as during late stages of multiple sclerosis. Common solutions in situations which involve the loss of the ability to communicate or control devices are through eye-movements or by recorded and transduced brain activity. In this invention, nasal air flow is used as a means of input and can control mechanical devices or software. The input can also be nostril dependent for receiving input from paralyzed or other handicapped users. The sniff-controller may be functional in both unassisted-respiration and assisted respiration individuals.
• Hands-free full control of electric wheelchairs for the highly disabled.
• Hands-free computer controller for multi purposes.
• Intuitive and easy to learn and control.
• Provides natural sensory feedback.
• Non-invasive device
• Degree of control ranges from simple one-bit to complex combinations
• No surgical procedures are needed to use the device
• Can be used by assisted respiration individuals.
• Low cost
The method of input from a user is involves an apparatus comprised of a sensor which measures nasal flow parameters generating instructions for the controlled device. Using the sniff-controller to communicate, can be done either by a transducer that drives a “Morse code” decoder or by a transducer that drives a cursor on a computer screen that contains a “text-board”. Using the sniff-controller to drive an electric wheelchair is done with a transducer that drives the wheelchair motors.