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A Real-Time Assistive Computer Interface for Users with Motor Disabilities

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"A Real-Time Assistive Computer Interface for Users with Motor Disabilities", (1999)
Barreto, A. B. , Scott Scargle and Malek Adjouadi

ABSTRACT: This study introduces the design of an integrated assistive real-time system developed as an alternate input device to computers that can be used by individuals with severe motor disabilities. An assistive technology device as defined by the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 is "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities". The proposed real-time system design utilizes electromyographic (EMG) biosignals from cranial muscles and electroencephalographic (EEG) biosignals from the cerebrum's occipital lobe, which are transformed into controls for two-dimensional (2-D) cursor movement, the Left-Click (Enter) command, and an ON/OFF switch for the cursor-control functions. This HCI system classifies biosignals into "mouse" functions by applying amplitude thresholds and performing power spectral density (PSD) estimations on discrete windows of data. Spectral power summations are aggregated over several frequency bands between 8 and 500 Hz and then compared to produce the correct classification. The result is an affordable DSP-based system that, when combined with an on-screen keyboard, enables the user to fully operate a computer without using any extremities.