Veterans Affairs

Extendable wand mouthstick stylus

Telescoping device can be extended or retracted based on bite signals greatly enhancing the range and utility of the instrument

Medical & Biotechnology
mouthstick stylus wand
The extendable mouth stylus includes a flexible, conductive tip, an extending middle portion, and a mouthpiece with integrated bite controls. (Troy Carter/TechLink)

Mouthstick styluses are designed to allow quadriplegic and tetraplegic patients to interact with touch screen devices. To use a mouth stylus, the device is placed in an individual’s mouth and is used to point and interact with the touch sensitive device by pressing on the icon controls. Commercially available styluses¬†are effective in allowing a person to interact with a device in two dimensions – up down, right left.

But they are not effective in enabling interaction at different depths as they are fixed in length. This can create problems for people with limited neck mobility.

To better accommodate this need for added dimensionality, researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs have developed a telescoping stylus.

Extension and retraction of the tip of the stylus are controlled by movements of the mouth to either engage a small battery powered motor. In a non-motorized version, the stylus can be extended and retracted by blowing or sucking through the mouthpiece.

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