Introduction: Vocal Helmet
This project is addressed to people with severe neurological diseases such as SLA or motoneuron disease, which do not allow to speak normally.
It can be used by tetraplegic or quadriplegic people which, even if can afford normal speech, since they do not control diaphragm muscle, cannot speak very loudly. In this case the helmet turns out to be useful to get attention and ask for assistance.
In consists of a helmet (for cycling or horse-riding) which is used as a scaffold for a board made up by 6 aluminium sensors (but it can be extended up to 12 sensors).
The button board must be fixed in order to allow the user to reach the sensors with small lips or tongue movements.
Each sensor is linked to Makey Makey board which is connected via USB cable to a pc running Scratch code.
Each sensor is associated to a phrase that will be pronounced by Scratch vocal synthesizer every time the button will be touched.
Six phrases are programmable in order to fit the user needs. The ones set in the prototype are conceived to ask for basic care giving.
The shape of the button board can be adjusted to fit as well as possible to the user needs.
(with USB cable and alligator clip wires);
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Step 1: Step-by Step Instructions
Stick six aluminium stripes (about 1.5 cm x 6 cm) on a cardboard stripe about 6 cm wide; place them spaced enough (about 1.5 cm) using double-sided tape.
Stick a cardboard stripe to the helmet using double-sided tape in such way to fit as a chin strap. We will use this chin strap to fix the button board.
Link the aluminium stripes to the Makey Makey board with alligator clips.
Once the button board is linked to the Makey Makey, fix it to the chin strap in such a way that the user could reach buttons with the tongue or the lips.
Link ground of Makey Makey to the hand of the user with alligator clip.
Connect the board to the pc via USB cable.
Run Scratch software.