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Vocal Switch

Enabling Engineering

The Need:

Students with cerebral palsy at the Carter School have trouble integrating with their computer software.  We need to create a device that can, without using fine motor skills, integrate with the existing hardware and software used for virtual learning at the school. We are developing an audio-controlled switch—as opposed to a mechanical switch—to help these students interact with virtual learning software.

The Solution:

Previous prototypes were able to use the vibrations of a vocal cord as inputs with limited success. However, because this prototype must be tested in real time with various users, the method that was being used for the vibrations was far too complicated. We have begun to implement a microphone to capture the audio. For this iteration, when the audio remains at a constant tone for a specified length of time, the switch will be activated by a Don Johnston switch controller.