Integramouse Voice Controlled Support Arm
The client is a regular computer user but is slowly losing the use of his hands due to MS. For this reason, use of a conventional mouse is becoming very difficult. The solution offered by his OT involves use of an Integramouse which has all of the functions of a normal mouse but is operated by the mouth. To be usable by the client, it must be mounted on the end of an adjustable arm.
When writing reports and emails he does not need the Integramouse since he uses speech-to-text software via a microphone, and so when doing this, he requires the Integramouse to move out of sight of the screen and only return when needed once again. This was the challenge addressed by Remap.
The solution comprises an initially horizontal support arm for the Integramouse with sufficient degrees of adjustment to hold the mouse rigidly in the correct position relative to the client’s mouth. The support arm is made from powder-coated hollow section steel with a horizontally pivoting section close to the Integramouse and the whole arm assembly pivot-able vertically about its far end. A 12 volt linear actuator moves the arm out of the client’s way in two distinct motions: the first swings the Integramouse horizontally away from the client’s mouth and this is followed by the whole arm pivoting upwards to one side of the computer screen. This double motion moves the mouse away from the client’s face in a safe manner and when the process is reversed, presents the mouse to the client in an equally safe manner. The whole assembly is free-standing on a substantial base on the client’s desk.
Two alternative methods of control have been provided: a simple manual switch and a voice-controlled switch. The client is able to use both methods at this moment in time, but over time as use of his hands diminishes further, he will only be able to use the voice control. The voice control responds to the command “Remap” and comprises a commercially available voice controller board, an Arduino nano processor, an Arduino nano breakout and a relay driver. A desk-mounted microphone receives the voice command and is contained inside a tube so that it will only respond to sounds aimed directly at its end.
Despite his failing manual dexterity, the client is able to continue using his computer in an effective manner and can choose to have the Integramouse deployed where he can use it or folded away out of sight when he does not need it.
The client commented that it was “very good” which his wife translated for us as meaning “it is absolutely brilliant”!