Human Interface Device for ALS 



Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that reduces an individual's control of voluntary muscles, leading to eventual paralysis. There are no known cures for ALS, but symptoms can be managed using assistive technology. Assistive technology often has extremely high cost due to the customization of input devices. For example, wheelchair control mechanisms need to be adapted to each individual depending on their unique progression, driving prices up by orders of magnitude. 

In order to solve this problem, I developed a Human Interface Device (HID) that is low-cost and universal. 

Product Overview 

Version 2

  • Digit V2 uses two 9DOF Inertial Measurement Unit Sensors (one on each side of a joint)
  • V2 should be compatible with V1, allowing for modularity and expansion
  • V2 adds precision to Digit, allowing for applications such as biometrics
  • V2 adds multiple axes to Digit, allowing it to record more movement for applications such as 6DOF robotic arms
  • V2 adds ergonomic comfortability and low visibility, allowing it to be placed almost anywhere on the body
  • The price of V2 is already under 100 USD as a prototype. This price can reduce easily with component reduction and efficient production.




Version 1

Digit is essentially a wearable, modular, and adaptable joystick – a simple mechanism

  • It extrapolates motion based on two potentiometers, measuring the angles of a joint
  • The analog potentiometer signals are interpreted by a PSoC 5LP microcontroller, which can be used as output for a USB HID Mouse or any other device.
  • The majority of components were laser cut, in order to minimize cost
  • All other construction materials are readily available for a minimal cost
  • The cost of Digit is under 10 USD. With efficient production, it will be under 5 USD.