Corten & Tomás: From the makerspace to the marketplace

Corten Singer and Tomás Vega, self-proclaimed Makers and hardware hackers, had a wheelchair-bound friend Danny with low vision who they wanted to help become more independent. One of Danny’s major challenges was that he was unable to negotiate unfamiliar terrain. Even something as simple as uneven ground or a curb cut could prove deadly for him.

The duo, undergraduates at UC Berkeley at the time, spent most of their free time in the university’s makerspace, tinkering and printing a smart, nearly autonomous wheelchair system. When they decided he also needed a better control mechanism, they developed a sensitive mouth guard that would allow him to control this and almost any other device with the touch of his tongue. This MouthMouse is now the basis for their Bay Area startup Augmental Tech which employs five people developing technology for accessibility and sports medicine.

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