An experimental device is letting paralyzed people drive wheelchairs simply by flicking their tongue in the right direction. Users have their tongue pierced with a magnetic stud that resembles jewelry and acts like a joystick, in the hope that it will offer them more mobility and independence.
Getting around in a wheelchair is difficult enough, even when one still has use of their upper extremities. Quadriplegics face an exponentially more difficult challenge: controlling the wheelchair by sucking or blowing air through a straw. But this new powered wheelchair from the Georgia Institute of Technology will respond to a flick of the user’s tongue.