I know this video shouldn't make me laugh because the Vocal Joystick—a software that allows you to control your computer mouse using eight vowel sounds and the "sounds k and ch simulate clicking and releasing the buttons"—is amazing for people with disabilities. But I can't help it, I just find it hilarious. Its developers at the University of Washington have now came up with a version that controls a robotic arm to further help people with serious mobility problems.Sampling your voice 100 times per second using a normal microphone, their idea is very simple but very powerful. And it works smoothly, much better than software like Dragon Naturally Speaking, as you can see in this comparison video.
Compared to the simplicity and effectiveness of the vowels method, this one seems incredibly obtuse. The Vocal Joystick robotic arm interface will be presented this month at the Assets Conference on Computers and Accessibility in in Tempe, Arizona. [University of Washington via MedGadget]