VOICE RECOGNITION FOR PROSTHETIC CONTROL CASE STUDY
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Client - 48-year-old make, height is 5’7” and is 135lbs, shoulder disarticulation patient. Employed as a heavy equipment operator until August 2000. Client sustained traumatic brain injury and subsequent loss of motor control on left upper extremity (flail arm), with effect on left lower extremity through quad weakness and drop foot. Client is posturally effected with incomplete hemiparisis and also exhibits minor speech impairment. The client stated that he had numerous falls that lead to multiple dislocations and chronic pain in left upper extremity. The client elected to amputate the left upper extremity in April 2004 to assist with pain management and postural consideration. The client expressed desires to regain some of his independence in his personal living. His expressed needs ranged from independent donning of his AFO, dressing, meal preparation, to some minor home improvement projects. His current daily arrangements included extensive assistance from his wife and family members for his activities of daily living (ADL). Initial Consult The client contacted our clinic looking for upper extremity prosthetic information. He was interested in his prosthetic options to help with his ADLs and limited functional envelope. He has received prior speech, physical, and occupational therapies to promote a restored independent life and exhibits normal cognitive abilities. Myo signal testing on the effected side did not provide a consistent usable signal source due to the paralysis of the thoracic region. Current voluntary myo or switch control strategies would depend on inputs from the effected side which are limited or non-existent. Involving inputs from the contralateral side could potentially reduce the current level of function on that side and diminish ability for consistent prosthetic control. With these challenges, a call was made to Liberating Technologies to seek out ideas for possible control strategies. Craig Wallace with LTI made mention of a prototype mode selection device that was voice activated. The voice recognition device was a new direction that had not been field tested thus far. This concept offered possibilities for ease of inputs and deliberate mode selection without relying on contralateral inputs to meet the goal of bi-manual assistance.
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