AffiliationRancho Los Amigos Hospital
Micro Telemetry Systems Company
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RightsCopyright © International Foundation for Telemetering
Collection InformationProceedings from the International Telemetering Conference are made available by the International Foundation for Telemetering and the University of Arizona Libraries. Visit http://www.telemetry.org/index.php/contact-us if you have questions about items in this collection.
AbstractElectrically-powered arm braces have reached a stage of development sufficient to permit the restoration of arm motion to a severely paralyzed person. Although many functional tasks can be performed with these powered braces, the degree of function attained is still limited by the capabilities of the control system. Most functional orthotic controls presently in use are of a switch type which provide sequential off/on control of the orthesis. Extra-oral tongue operated switch controls are now used routinely, and, although they are easily fitted, inexpensive and reliable, still they do not provide the degree of control which is desirable. This paper describes the developmental work being done at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital on intra-oral telemetry control systems. The design of a tongue-actuated intra-oral telemetry control system to control the “Rancho Electric Arm” (a seven-degree-of-freedom electrically-powered arm brace) is described in detail. The system consists of 15 specially designed solid state strain gauge pressure transducers and an eight-channel digital transmitter mounted in a metal dental appliance. The control signals which are generated are telemetered to a receiver mounted on the patient’s wheelchair and are used to control the velocity of the respective arm brace joints. Patient tests with the system have shown that the telemetered signal is of sufficient quality to effectively control the “Rancho Electric Arm.” Although a patient has been fitted with a prototype intra-oral control unit, it must be clearly understood that the system has not yet been perfected to the point that it is a functional control system for patient use.
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