Browse Prior Art Database

Microcomputer-Aided Eating for the Severely Handicapped

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131368D
Original Publication Date: 1979-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 8 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

R.L. Ramey: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

[Figure containing following caption omitted: A prototype system shows how small, intelligent devices may offer the handicapped a new degree of independence.] Computer control of manipulators and machine tools is a highly developed technology; however, where space, cost, and power are limited, there is a continuing demand for simple but effective digital control systems capable of modest accuracy. We have developed a versatile system which permits severely handicapped individuals to eat independently, using a microcomputer-controlled manipulator. We did not select the method of trajectory computing using coordinate transformations because of the computational load, and resulting reduced sampling rate, imposed on the computer. We instead used a ";learning phase"; to establish the point-to-point coordinates of the motion, regardless of the coordinate system in which the manipulator resides. The system described here permits quadriplegics to direct the movements of a four-degree-of-freedom manipulator. A compact microcomputer, designed around the Intel 8080, controls the system.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 13% of the total text.

Page 1 of 8

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1979 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Microcomputer-Aided Eating for the Severely Handicapped

R.L. Ramey , J.H. Aylor , R.D. Williams University of Virginia

(Image Omitted: A prototype system shows how small, intelligent devices may offer the handicapped a new degree of independence.)

Computer control of manipulators and machine tools is a highly developed technology; however, where space, cost, and power are limited, there is a continuing demand for simple but effective digital control systems capable of modest accuracy. We have developed a versatile system which permits severely handicapped individuals to eat independently, using a microcomputer- controlled manipulator. We did not select the method of trajectory computing using coordinate transformations because of the computational load, and resulting reduced sampling rate, imposed on the computer. We instead used a "learning phase" to establish the point-to-point coordinates of the motion, regardless of the coordinate system in which the manipulator resides.

The system described here permits quadriplegics to direct the movements of a four-degree-of- freedom manipulator. A compact microcomputer, designed around the Intel 8080, controls the system.

System design philosophy

The term "high quadriplegic" refers to an individual with no upper limb response but who is capable of limited shoulder movement. Neck and head movement is usually present, but the response rate may be relatively slow. Thus, for a high quadriplegic, point-to-point control of a powered manipulator can be very difficult and frustrating. Also consider that when one eats one pays attention to the fork or spoon only when selecting a morsel at the plate -- the movement from plate to mouth is under subconscious control. Thus eating is not a task which requires concentration by a non-handicapped person. If the handicapped person is to have similar facility in eating, the movement of the utensil from rest position to plate, from plate to mouth, and from mouth back to rest position, must be executed "subconsciously" by computer.

Extensive work has been done in industrial manipulator control, and some work has been done in manipulator control for quadriplegics. Most digital systems developed for the control of industrial manipulators have required minicomputers. Systems using microcomputers have often required multiple processor arrangements. General-purpose microcomputer controllers have been developed, but these are not intended to be multiplexed while maintaining a rapid sampling rate.t Some manipulators for quadriplegics have been devel...