The Puttone device, developed by the Chiba University Graduate School and Faculty of Engineering, emits sound based on tilt direction and angle. Attaching this device to a variety of everyday items could transform them into rehabilitation tools for patients with unilateral paralysis.
“The device has an acceleration sensor, and the acceleration value is read by a PC. A program running on the PC generates the sound. The difficult part was determining how simple to make it; healthy people feel that it would be more fun if it could be made more complex to do a lot of things. For patients suffering from unilateral paralysis, the degree of difficulty depends on their particular symptoms. So, it was very difficult to decide how simple to make it so that it would be fun and appropriate for people with a variety of symptoms.”
The Arduino general-purpose microcontroller that runs the Puttone device gets its power supply via USB from the attached PC.
“When we investigated actual rehabilitation, we found that many patients used a variety of everyday items in their rehab. By attaching our unit to the outside of those everyday items, we don’t force any specific movements, but the device can be used by patients for their own particular type of rehab.”
Currently the device is attached to a PC to generate the sound. In the future, the tiny Puttone unit will contain both sensors and a system to generate sound. This should bring the unit much closer to being a viable product.