Attention Makers


Mouse Head (Mouse for Quadriplegic persons)

MAKERS: Humberto Tello Morales

Brief general description of Mousehead Mouse Head is a device which allows interaction between a quadriplegic person and a computer; it offers basic options such as left click, right click, double click, etc. All of the functions are implemented with the user?s head movements. The system has a wireless connection through a radiofrequency module, functions with a battery which is rechargeable through a USB port, works with any operating system, doesn?t require a complex installation process (that is to say, it is user-friendly), and it?s non-invasive. The objective of Mousehead is to amplify basic control systems for people with limited capacities, such as the use of an electric wheelchair, a rehabilitation system, a lighting system, an entertainment system, among others. Currently, an updated version is being prepared which will allow the use of a cell phone and its basic functions such as making and receiving phone calls and text messages. We propose to have the completed system operational in about three months from now. What does my company do, or what do you accomplish through my entrepreneurial or investigative project? We provide an economic alternative for people who suffer from diseases such as Parkinson?s, ALS, or Quadriplegia, with the desire of helping them to re-incorporate as much as possible into society, given that their advanced conditions isolate them involuntarily by the current technology. At Mousehead we are dedicated to meeting the needs of the ?forgotten? people and we strive to satisfy their needs in order to help them have a more productive life. We desire to reach those who have a great need, to whom are available expensive solutions in the current marketplace, making available to them devices which will be within their economic reach, regardless of economic circumstance. What is my concrete role? I am the chief designer and founder of the Mousehead initiative. We are an integrated team of four people among which are a designer, a programmer and a technician, all of whom are oriented in electronics. We are students in our senior year of Electronic Engineering at Poli-Technical University Salesiana, we belong to the investigative group of Inclusion Technology. What is the problem or challenge I are tackling? Why has it been difficult to resolve this problem until now? The greatest problem has been the cost that commercial companies charge for the products they offer in an attempt to help those with motor deficiencies. All of the products depend directly on the use of a computer as well as near-perfect ambient conditions in order to avoid inconveniences in the function of their systems, which conditions in reality do not exist in Ecuador nor in the world as a whole: systems based on audio or visual have a tendency to be susceptible to noise, lighting, the physical position of the user, causing a need for frequent recalibration of the system in order to achieve correct function. In general these systems work for only one specific person, meaning that their system is not able to be used by various individuals without investing monetarily in various systems. The ability to adapt one system to diverse platforms and make possible its interaction without the need of a computer is what makes Mousehead an interesting and viable option for those who lack the financial resources needed to purchase a commercial device or product. It has been difficult to resolve this problem because we have had to design our entire system from the ground up, always keeping in mind the independence of our device, that is to say, we do not depend on any outside provider. All of this is with the idea to reduce the cost of the current commercial alternatives by 70% while at the same time providing a reliable and safe system that will allow continual use for one or multiple users as needed. Is my product/idea innovative? Mousehead is completely innovative, given that our product does not depend on a computer, but rather is a complete system mounted to the head of the user, which can be adapted to diverse applications without the need to reconfigure the device, adding only a receiving system/controller for the applications desired by the user. Is my project unique? How is it different from other existing products/ideas? At Mousehead we have designed a device which isn?t made for one specific user, which is able to self-calibrate, which is not affected by poor and/or inconsistent ambient conditions, and which, on the other hand, has a platform that functions independent of a computer and is at the same time portable; all of which facilitates our ability to provide a device which is economically accessible to interested users, given its low cost of fabrication. Is my idea going to contribute to society, generate jobs and improve quality of life? Mousehead is completely given to improving the quality of life of millions of people around the world who suffer from quadriplegia, ALS, Parkinson?s or other similar diseases or restrictions, and we possess the advantage of being able to provide a user who has access to a computer the ability to do business through the use of the internet and in this way be able to provide for his family, alleviating the economic burden his/her situation creates, and becoming an active source of income for his/her loved ones. The most important contribution centers around the inclusion of those left to one side by current technology that becomes increasingly inaccessible for those with little or no economic resources available.

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