Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

A New Input Device for Spastics Based on Strain Gauge

Version 1 : Received: 13 February 2017 / Approved: 14 February 2017 / Online: 14 February 2017 (09:02:48 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Buchhold, N.; Baumgartner, C. A New Input Device for Spastics Based on Strain Gauge. Sensors 2017, 17, 880. Buchhold, N.; Baumgartner, C. A New Input Device for Spastics Based on Strain Gauge. Sensors 2017, 17, 880.

Journal reference: Sensors 2017, 17, 880
DOI: 10.3390/s17040880

Abstract

This article presents a new input device for spastic patients and others with similar symptoms. The sensor consists of a disc used to determine positions and can replace standard joysticks in medical devices such as electric-powered wheelchairs. Using a standard joystick while operating a powered wheelchair can result in dangerous situations when spastic movements occur and extremities cramp making them uncontrollable. To avoid this, a disc was developed that can be controlled with any body part. By shifting weight (x- and y-axis) the disc can tilt in any direction creating a proportional output signal and can also be pushed down in the center (z-axis) to open a menu on a screen for example. When spasms occur it is impossible for users to get stuck on the input device because the disc is flat and can be mounted within a control panel. Body parts coming into contact with the disc would merely slide across the disc without triggering unintentional actions. The sensor presented here is also adaptive and can be adjusted to fit a user’s strength and range of motion. This proposal aims to develop an input device that enables spastic patients to operate sensitive systems safely.

Subject Areas

tactile sensors; assistive technologies; power wheelchair; medical systems; robotic; joystick; strain-gauge; spasticity

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