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  • Thanks for the reply Phil. Articulation is a whole different animal. I had a hunch that's the problem that needed a solution. The whole system is amazingly complex, and unfortunately the control system is the brain. I can't see a reasonable interface there...maybe someday. My background dealt with spacecraft simulator design, development of the space-to-space communications system that just got retired with the shuttle program and an infrared spectometer that's flying around Saturn right now on the Cassini spacecraft. I've dabbled in mechanical engineering but don't rise to the rank.

    I'm in Mayo, just across South River from Annapolis. We just sold the house and taking a break from packing to move to Florida. I intend to monitor the Tips/gadgets and research pages for more ideas. Please keep in touch if any ideas come to mind. I'll do the same. Thanks!

    Part 2:

    I read your post regarding a device to help PALS with their speech. PALS with bulbar symptoms lose control of the muscles that enable speech articulation such as the tongue, mouth, lips, larynx. The power in the speech is enabled by the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. So a PALS can have plenty of power, but lack the ability to shape words that can be understood. So far, speech generation devices enable the PALS to use whatever muscle function they have (e.g., eyegaze systems) to synthesize words. For PALS with acceptable bulbar function but weak power in the breathing muscles there are voice amplifiers. So a PALS that can whisper can be heard by amplification.

    So the real challenge is synthetic articulation.

    BTW, I'm in Parsonsburg, about 5 miles east of Salisbury on the way to Ocean City.

    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for the message. Actually, long before Annie got ALS I had similar thoughts as you in utilizing engineering skills to help people with disabilities. Like you, my engineering back ground was highly varied. I was an aerospace engineer working primarily with rockets and spacecraft. My principle disciples were dynamics and control, structures, mechanisms, aerodynamics, flight mechanics, etc. I also did a little bit of EE with motor control and analog circuits. So I would be enthusiastic about applying this back ground to finding engineering solutions to help PALS.

    I'm splitting this message to fit in the size limits. More to follow.

    Hi Rose,
    Not sure where anytown is in relation to town but I am, at the moment, preparing to leave "town" lol. We're moving south where it's more affordable to live on a fixed retirement income. Anyway, thanks for the tip. I will figure out how to contact Annie's Phil. As I said, I am searching for a helping niche to bide any spare time I may have. Engineering as a career has almost ruined engineering as a hobby for me, but now I think I can focus on the latter while forgetting the former. Thanks for the contact!

    I just caught your post on thread pertaining to voice amplifiers. When I looked at your profile just now, I noticed that you too are in Maryland (you're in "town" and I'm in "anytown" lol)

    Why I am posting this message though, is because I thought you might find it interesting to contact Annie's Phil. His wife was one of the dearest people ever to grace this forum. He, too is in "rocket science". Between your common career background, and, the experience he has had being the CALS for Annie, there might be some ideas you guys would find interesting to pursue as far as inventions that would be of use to those with ALS and similar diseases.
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