Help for Quadriplegic friend

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Joined: April 25th, 2017, 10:14 am

Help for Quadriplegic friend

Post by leaderdog »

Hi everyone.

Great program but I'm running into difficulties and am quite confused. Apologies for long post.


My buddy that I work with is quadriplegic, he was electrocuted while working when he was 17. That was 17 years ago now. He has very little use of his hands (mainly can just scratch his face) the damage to his brain was extensive. He can talk, but not very well. His eye sight was also affected greatly so he can't focus on a computer screen and control it with eye trackers or anything like that, let alone tell you what's on the screen. Plus short term memory is affected which means everything needs to be basic. When he lived at home, his parents were close at hand to help him, but now that he is in a care home, well... like all care homes too many people not enough staff. So he'll just sit there in his room watching one channel with no way of changing it, and no way of doing anything else.


I think Links can help. However, we're going to need some help figuring things out. We tried for now with a headset just to test out Links. By changing some of the commands to simpler wording that he can do he was able to turn on the music player and say next song. A good start. But the big problem is any time he laughs (boisterous laugh), or starts singing to the music random windows pop up, searches start happening etc. Even if he gets links to stop listening it will still load random things.

We removed ALL the commands and keyboard shortcuts except for the music ones and the stop listening options, but still random things will happen. And when the music player (potplayer - or WMP) were out of focus the commands quit working. Is there a way to alter sensitivity of the voice so that only accurate commands are followed? It feels like the computer is guessing at what he says and interprets it with a random command which isn't helpful. We need it to be locked to exact commands so that this doesn't happen.

We did try the windows speech training, but that actually made it worse I believe. Plus he can't read, so it was me telling him what to say and his stuttering and missing words as well as pronouncing them incorrectly. We gave up before it was finished.


Ideally, I want to have a mic set up in his room so that he can command the computer to turn on his tv and set top box, change channels, play his music library, and listen to audiobooks.


Not sure of all the things needed, but before purchasing hardware, if we can't trim the sensitivity of LINKS then maybe this isn't possible.

1) can we increase accuracy of the program so it won't trigger commands that weren't specifically called or is there a way to record him say a command and that is the specific command LINKS will listen for? Or even how to get rid of random commands, deleting the keyboard shortcuts and removing all social, shell, web and default commands didn't stop computer from doing random things. (Only random saying I'd want is if it couldn't understand him when issuing a command it tells him, "I didn't understand that, please be clearer or say help for your trigger commands, and then saying help would get him to the basic commands "Play Music", "Turn on TV", "Play Audiobooks", and "more help" would trigger more detailed commands like volume up, volume down, mute, resume, etc).

1a) Can LINKS be set to stop listening, and NOT come back until told to start listening again? LINKS would hear what it thought was a command and issue some action even though it was just him singing or laughing after having been told to stop listening.

2) what type of room mic would work well? His room is not large and I was thinking a room mic sitting on the tv desk should work.

3) What type of IR transmitter (usb from pc and software is required to change channels?)

4) what other software other than LINKS is required to perform tasks for turning on TV and changing channels? (Ideally I just want him to say things like sports or sports 1 and the tv will punch in the correct channel number to take him there. then just channel up and channel down to flip channels.)

5) anything else I'm not aware of and need to be schooled in? haha.

He'll be using a windows based pc (7 or 10)

The implications for people with disabilities are quite vast here. This software could change the lives of so many people. I'm really hoping there is a way to make this work. When I went to pick him up one day he was sitting in from of his tv watching the treehouse channel (ages 1-4 or something like that) and the staff didn't bother to change the channel. I started to crack jokes to lighten the mood, but he clearly wasn't impressed that he was stuck watching something completely inappropriate for him.

Again, sorry for such a long post, and I appreciate you reading and any help that can be given.
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Re: Help for Quadriplegic friend

Post by Zunair »

In MKIII you can have a mic threshold level so any sound less then specified volume will be ignored... Stop listening should work better with that.

Can he move around the room a bit? If he can then I think I pir mic would be better... What that means is that the mic would only activate when you come near it.
Headset could also work too that would have a mic that could turn off when folded.

Hopefully other users can help you with ir stuff.


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Joined: April 25th, 2017, 10:14 am

Re: Help for Quadriplegic friend

Post by leaderdog »

Hi Zunair,

Thanks for replying. He can't move around at all. He's in a manual wheelchair because his eye sight isn't good enough for him to use a motorized one. So when the care home puts him some where, that's where he stays. He used to have some mobility that way but unfortunately he rolled himself off a four foot deck at his home once knocking himself unconscious, that made his brain injury a bit worse sadly.

As for mic, it will need to be a stationary room mic (on ceiling or desk). He kept knocking off my headset when we were testing because he'd put his hands over his head, or scratch his face and then knock it off bringing his hand down again. He's not spatially aware.

Where can I download MK III? when I tried on the two sites it wasn't available, the one site said login to continue, but the login doesn't work (New fancy one). I had created an account on there last week sometime, but it didn't work I don't think - never sent reply and I couldn't login with info I set up. Forgetten what it was now too. The other link with the donation page returns a paypal error.

I'm going to try and install the better speech recognition script that was posted on here. We'll give that a try to see if it understands him better than windows. Hopefully, I can figure it out. ;)

Thanks, any and all help is appreciated!
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