A mouth-operated joystick that allows a person to control an onscreen cursor with minimal head and neck movement has won the 2017 ‘Most Disruptive Technology’ Award presented by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).
LipSync, which allows someone with no movement in their hands to use a touchscreen device, is an open source hardware project developed by the Neil Squire Society’s ‘Makers Making Change’ initiative. It is funded by Google and uses 3D printed parts, an Arduino Mini board, and other electronic parts that can be soldered to create the device.
The award was presented to Harry Lew, Neil Squire Society’s Manager of Research and Development at the RESNA 2017 Annual Conference held in New Orleans, LA in late June.
RESNA Awards recognise individuals and organisations for their efforts and contributions to the field of assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering and to the RESNA organisation. The awards honour members of a large and diverse community of dedicated peers and professionals, committed to promoting the health and well-being of people with disabilities through the use of technology.
Dr Gary Birch, Executive Director of the Neil Squire Society, said:
We are very proud at the Neil Squire Society to be recognised by RESNA with this award. The team that’s been working on the LipSync has done a fantastic job and we look forward to seeing this technology being another important enabler for persons with disabilities to live more inclusive lives. Thank you RESNA for this recognition.
The Neil Squire Society is a national not-for-profit organisation in Canada that has for over 30 years empowered Canadians with disabilities through the use of computer-based assistive technologies, research and development, and various employment programs. Specialising in education and workplace empowerment, the Society has served over 35,000 people since 1984.
Makers Making Change is a Neil Squire Society initiative that connects makers to people with disabilities who need assistive technologies. It will feature a catalogue of various open-source assistive technology projects, with parts, instructions and reviews to support makers and people with disabilities. Their first major project is the LipSync.