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Hardware Hacking Input Devices Open Source

Adding Eye Control To Wheelchairs for Quadriplegics (hackaday.com) 15

szczys writes: The inventor of the Eyedriveomatic has ALS. This prevents him from controlling his electric wheelchair, but it didn't prevent him from teaming up with two other people (one also a quadriplegic) to design a way around the limitation. Eyegaze hardware is what lets people speak through a computer using only their eyes. Eyedrivomatic is an open source project that uses common materials to connect the Eyegaze to the joystick of the wheelchair without altering the chair (which is rented equipment in most cases). A 3D-printed gimbal is strapped over the existing joystick, but does not prevent it from still being used normally by caregivers. The gimbal's servo motors actuate the joystick with commands from the Eyegaze.
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Adding Eye Control To Wheelchairs for Quadriplegics

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  • Six years from now, we'll hear about how these wheel chairs keep bumping into the backsides of pretty blondes...

  • A 3D-printed gimbal is strapped over the existing joystick, but does not prevent it from still being used normally by caregivers. The gimbal's servo motors actuate the joystick with commands from the Eyegaze.

    In other words, the most complicated way yet devised of sending an electrical signal about 10cm.

    • by necro81 ( 917438 )

      In other words, the most complicated way yet devised of sending an electrical signal about 10cm.

      Perhaps, although this method has some advantages to it:

      1. it does not require invasive retrofitting of the existing wheelchair joystick. As shown in the video, attaching the gimbal requires able-hands only about 10 seconds. I would guess that an attendant would still be able to use that joystick to drive the chair, even with the gimbal attached (although usually for such patients, a second, more easily acces
      • by szczys ( 3402149 )
        An excellent set of points. I had not considered the visual feedback loop you mentioned, but indeed this is simple to tell that it's working.
    • by Xolotl ( 675282 )
      Complicated yes, but works with every type of powered wheelchair regardless of its internal protocols and without having to take it apart and interface wiring. So it can be fitted by someone not skilled in electronics and without voiding warranties or rental agreements for the chair.

"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked." -- John Gall, _Systemantics_

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