Tongue-Driven Wheelchair for Quadriplegics: Exploring Assistive Technology’s Impact on Those with Disabilities

Talton, Nicholas, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Stafford, William, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Barnes, Adam, EN-Elec & Comp Engr Dept, University of Virginia

Spinal cord injuries (SCI) present significant challenges to individuals' mobility and independence, with global estimates indicating a substantial impact on quality of life. This paper works with the multifaceted assistive technology landscape for individuals with SCI, examining the societal, technological, and intersectional dynamics at play. Using empirical data and theoretical frameworks, including the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) model and Hughes' concept of technological momentum, the paper looks into how assistive mobility devices evolve through innovation and competition, shaping societal perceptions and experiences of disability. The paper investigates the development and implications of alternative mobility solutions, such as tongue-driven systems and brainwave-controlled interfaces. These emerging technologies offer promise in enhancing independence and inclusion for individuals with SCI, yet they also pose usability, affordability, and social acceptance challenges.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, handicap, assistive mobility, tongue drive system

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

Technical Advisor: Adam Barnes

STS Advisor: William Stafford

Technical Team Members: Dhruv Batra, Michael Kinsel, Yeabsira Mekonnen

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
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