I’m trying to identify and develop a navigational system/interface that would allow an individual to control a wheelchair with their head movement alone. To begin, a bit more about myself and why I’m interested in pursuing this: As a 33-year old male quadriplegic with no functional movement from the neck down, I’ve become quite patient and accustomed to the limitations that are part of my life. At the age of nine, I was in a car accident and sustained a high-level spinal cord injury. In the years that have passed, I’ve relied on a power chair to move from point A to point B. Throughout this time, I’ve used a number of different driving systems to navigate my wheelchair but none have proved to be precise, reliable or enjoyable. Presently, I rely on the support of another to help control my chair and to help me navigate through my daily travels. With this as my reality, for some time I’ve been convinced that there exists an alternative to the options and alternatives that are currently available to individuals who share this level of injury.
I’m envisioning a solution to this as some type of behind the ear headpiece/band that would have a gyroscope inside that would track your head movement and position. Much like a 3-D picture on a phone, as you move the phone forward/back and left/right, the image pivots accordingly – this would be translated into movement.