Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 162(2):248-259, 8, 2010. Paper Website abstract bibtex
People with multiple physical and cognitive impairments have difficulties for using properly conven- tional pointing devices, what reduces their possibilities to communicate and improve their cognitive and physical skills through computers. This paper proposes a head control mouse based on a triaxial inertial sensor particularly focused on infants with cerebral palsy (CP). The system consists of a real-time head tracker that translates the head orientation into pointer positions and measures kinematic parameters through the 3D inertial sensor. The algorithm to estimate the angular head orientation is presented and validated with an accuracy about 1◦. The experimental results with five healthy users demonstrated that the inertial pointer succeeds what was validated according to the ISO 9241-Part9. The experimental results with two infants with CP (athetoid and dystonic cases) demonstrated that the infants are capable of placing the pointer around the target but they have difficulties for fine motor control. The inertial sensor offers interesting kinematic parameters of the pathological movement. These parameters can be directly obtained by the inertial signals and are very useful to design filtering techniques to extract voluntary intentions. A research technique for filtering some patterns of the involuntary movements is presented. The inertial interface constructed and validated in this paper will allow increasing the knowledge about the pathological motion of the infants with CP.