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The electrolarynx is the most widely used device for speaking without vocal cords. However, its use is not very elegant, therefore I built a prototype of an electronic bluetooth larynx. The electronic larynx can improve the life of laryngectomy patients. 

Operation of the electronic larynx

The electronic larynx is a miniature speaker, invisible hidden in the mouth, that produce the sound that is normally produced by the vocal cords. In this way, a person can speak by articulating as usual without producing a sound themselves. 

Electronic larynx 4
Invisible electronic larynx

The electronic larynx contains a small phone speaker, amplifier, bluetooth module and a battery. In my simple prototype, the sound is coming from the smartphone, where it is stored, and than sent to the electronic larynx via bluetooth. 

There was a patent on an identical device granted in 1994, which has now expired: https://www.google.com/patents/US5326349. However, this patent has not been exploited. The patent describes the operation of the electronic larynx in detail.

Electronic bluetooth larynx
Electronic bluetooth larynx
Electronic larynx
Electronic larynx

Electronic bluetooth larynx circuit

Electronic larynx circuit
Electronic larynx circuit

Electronic larynx PCB
Electronic larynx PCB

Suitable sounds

Extensive study needs to be done on which sounds are best suited. To get an idea, I've posted some samples of vocal cord sounds on Github.

Construction

The tactile switch Panasonic EVQ-P6DB35 cap is vulnerable and comes off easily. Make a glue collar with 5 min epoxy.

Panasonic EVQ P6DB35 tactile switch
Panasonic EVQ P6DB35 tactile switch

The Iphone SE speaker is reduced in size and the hole that arises is sealed with 5 min epoxy glue. Note other glue can damage the interior of the speaker due to vapor.

Iphone SE speaker
Iphone SE speaker

An ear mesh is glued to the Iphone SE speaker with 5 minutes epoxy glue.

Ear mesh
Ear mesh

Future improvements

  • The voice of the patient before the laryngectomy can be recorded so that the voice is retained.
  • The intonation and volume can be controlled inconspicuously.
  • The acoustics in the oral cavity can be measured and serve as input for computer controlled voice control.

Who is interested?

The electronic larynx can be improved even further. I am looking for a university that could take this up. I have no commercial interests. 

Do you have any comments about the website? Please let me know.