Motor Intention Based Training and Discrimination System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43NS061378-01
Agency Tracking Number: NS061378
Amount: $189,632.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 557510625
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 (216) 619-5904
Business Contact
Phone: (216) 791-6720
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The objective is to design, build, and clinically assess an assistive device, PediAccess , which will improve augmentative alternative communication for children with compromised speech and motor function due to cerebra l palsy (CP). Speech affects education, communication with family and clinicians, and societal participation. This project will focus on children with CP who cannot speak and have compromised upper extremity motor control that impedes effective use of a st andard computer for communication. Some AAC devices currently exist, but all have significant limitations. Some examples include: a simple board that requires the user to gaze at answers; a reflective forehead worn marker that uses head movement and dwell time to move a cursor and select options; a screen that continually cycles highlighted options and waits for a push button triggered by the hand or head to select the option when highlighted; and multiple choice touch screens. While these devices have show n some efficacy to improve communication, they can be slow to navigate, may not be cosmetically acceptable, struggle to maintain calibration, and do not take full advantage of potential degrees of freedom (DOF) remaining for control. Additionally, once com munication is lost, a computer typically becomes the interface between cognitive speech intention and fabricated speech output. The hands provide an intuitive method for the computer control interface layer. While a user may not have dexterous motor contro l required to use a touch screen, they may have enough gross motor function to detect desired arm endpoint (hand) direction. In other words, there may be repeatable patterns of motion in the hand, forearm, upper arm, and shoulder that can be used to detect desired hand direction. PediAccess will utilize remaining voluntary control to detect desired hand direction to navigate through a communication matrix. Furthermore, the user will not need to learn an unconventional control method; navigation through a vi sual communication matrix will be synergistically mapped to their desired endpoint movements by exploiting repeatable upper extremity motion patterns. The proposed PediAccess will provide a compact, wireless, wearable system to improve the speed and accura cy at which children affected by motor and speech impairments can communicate. The device will utilize comfortable, wearable, sensing technology to detect user arm endpoint intention. The system will employ motion sensors including accelerometers and gyros copes and a Bluetooth radio transceiver and the wireless design will increase safety and allow comfortable wear for long periods of time. Motion will be wirelessly transmitted to a base station tablet computer. Software will collect and process data and pr ovide a visual communication matrix with provided user selectable responses. Quantitative data and coordination patterns processed from the motion sensors will be used as inputs to train and test an algorithm to detect endpoint intention. Algorithms will t ranslate endpoint intention to communication matrix commands.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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