This DIY mouthpiece allows those with disabilities to easily surf the web.
Out of more than 170 submissions, Maker Tobias Wirtl’s Mouth Operated Mouse has been named the winning entry in Thingiverse’s Assistive Technology Challenge.
After reading about difficulties those with disabilities face in accessing new technologies, Wirtl wanted to create an affordable and easily accessible device that could enable more people without the use of their arms and hands to navigate the Internet. Even better, the mouth-operated piece can be built for $20 using a 3D-printed case and off-the-shelf components — a mere fraction of the cost of commercial solutions on the market today.
“There are many new technologies that people with disabilities can’t access and in my opinion everyone should be able to benefit from today’s media, especially the Internet,” Wirtl explains.
The mouth-operated mouse moves the cursor by using a mouthpiece, which works like a joystick. Pushing the mouthpiece towards the case operates the right mouse button, while the left button is emulated by a $5 e-cigarette sensor that recognizes when the user sucks air through it. The system is all controlled by an Arduino Pro Micro (ATmega32U4) and can be connected to virtually any PC via USB.
This winning design follows in the footsteps of several other Maker projects, including Hackaday Prize champion Eyedrivomatic, that could ultimately change the lives of others.
I really like how lately 3d printing has been focused on helping others and aiding those who aren’t able to do certain things rather than just pure technology. It is becoming more for the people rather than just something that had potential and was occasionally used in medicine.