Mouth operated joystick

Project    /  Status:


The challenge

 Jack Rae (Carlsie & district panel) writes:

I have a tetraplegic client who, not only has no use of limbs, but also requires a tracheostomy ventilator system.  He has full facial control, speech, and a reasonable degree of head control.

 My client drives his powered recreational chair (a Boma 7) by using his chin to operate a joystick mounted on a stalk fixed to the chair frame.  The main problems with this arrangement are :  as he traverses rough ground his head rocks out of phase with chair movement so producing undesirable drive commands, he occasionally gets his chin into a position where he cannot correctly control the joystick and the effort required to perform chin movements is quite tiring over time.

 I have suggested a magnetic tongue stud working in conjunction with a series of mouth or head mounted magnetic sensors but my client is not in favour with this option.

 I would appreciate experiences or variety of ideas from panels with respect to using alternative control systems.   



5 thoughts on "Mouth operated joystick"

  1. Avatar Tom Bradley says:


    I have a regular client in a very similar situation. I mounted his wheelchair joystick on a bump hat using coolant tubes & aluminium bracket. His father has said it has changed his life. I have also made him an RC boat controller & scalextric control. We are currently working on a lip switch to be used in conjection with eyegaze.

    01452 381352

    1. Jack Rae says:

      Hi Tom,
      Many thanks for the reply
      Any chance of a photo or two of the bump hat showing the joystick fixings.
      My client uses a Dynamics Control DX system with an RJM joystick which is not only bulky but heavy.
      There are other much smaller (and expensive) joysticks around but, apart from the price, finding direct compatibility with a DX control system is one of the problems

      1. Avatar Tom Bradley says:

        I don’t know how to add photo so have added link here.

        The joystick used is very compact but unsupprisings expensive but can’t find it immediatley.

  2. Matthew says:

    Would a mouth controlled joystick be an answer, for example:

  3. Avatar M Spencer says:

    Encountered similar problem with a tetraplegic dinghy sailor. Boat movement caused him to lose control with ‘simple’ chest-strapped equipment. Solution reported here:


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