Author Ed Grabianowski writes about how thought-controlled wheelchairs work on the "How Stuff Works" website.
Complete tetraplegia: In many ways, it is the worst possible medical diagnosis, short of imminent death.
Total physical paralysis from the neck down can result from spinal cord injuries or diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). Sufferers become totally dependent upon others, but they often feel isolated because they have lost the ability to talk.
Most of us take for granted the ability to walk from one room to another, but for the severely disabled, even this common action requires assistance from someone else.
Imagine, then, that a completely paralyzed person could control a motorized wheelchair simply by thinking about it. By bypassing damaged nerves, such a device could open many doors to independence for disabled people.
In this article, we'll examine a company that is working to make that "what if" into reality. We'll also find out how the same technology could restore speech to people unable to talk
Hawking speaks in a similar manner. The screen displays the alphabet, with a cursor moving over it. He presses the button at the appropriate letter. Once he has constructed a complete sentence, he can send the text to the voice synthesizer built into his chair.
Ambient Audeo System Michael Callahan and Thomas Coleman founded Ambient, the company that develops and markets the Audeo system.