Tongue Drive is a wireless mouth retainer that enables people with high-level spinal cord injuries to operate a computer and maneuver an electrically powered wheelchair simply by moving their tongues.
The latest prototype of the Tongue Drive System lets users wear a dental retainer embedded with sensors that track the location of a tiny magnet attached to the tongues of users. This is achieved by giving participants a “clinical” tongue piercing and tongue stud containing a tiny magnet embedded in the upper ball.The dental appliance for the new intraoral Tongue Drive System contains magnetic field sensors mounted on its four corners that detect movement of a tiny magnet attached to the tongue. It also includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and an induction coil to charge the battery. The circuitry fits in the space available on the retainer, which sits against the roof of the mouth and is covered with an insulating, water-resistant material and vacuum-molded inside standard dental acrylic.