Individuals with tetraplegia have a challenging life due to the lack of independence and autonomy. Assistive robots have the potential to assist with the activities of daily living and thus improve the quality of life. However, an efficient and reliable control interface for severely disabled individuals is still missing. An intraoral tongue-computer interface (ITCI) for people with tetraplegia has previously been introduced and tested for controlling a robotic manipulator, in a study deploying discrete tongue robot mapping. To improve the efficiency of the interface, the current study proposed the use of virtual buttons based on the ITCI and evaluated them in combination with a joystick-like control implementation, enabling continuous control commands. Twelve able-bodied volunteers participated in a three-day experiment during which they controlled an assistive robotic manipulator by means of the tongue to perform two tasks: Pouring water in a cup (PW) and picking up a roll of tape (PUT). Four different tongue-robot mapping methods were compared. The results showed that using continuous commands reduced the task completion time by 16% and the number of commands of the PUT test by 20% compared with discrete commands. The highest success rate for completing the tasks was 77.8% for the PUT test and 100% for the PW test, both achieved by the control methods with continuous commands. Thus, the study demonstrated that incorporating continuous commands can improve the performance of the ITCI system for controlling robotic manipulators.

TidsskriftI E E E Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 29 jan. 2021

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