Birth of the idea

A project log for Joytojoy

An Open assistive device design to add mouse or video game stick capabilities to your power wheelchair controller

Julien OUDINJulien OUDIN 09/27/2022 at 09:490 Comments

For several years as an occupational therapist working in a healthcare home, I regularly work with power wheelchair user's who wish to be able to play video games like everyone else.

For a power wheelchair user, it is not always possible to hold a game controller in their hands.

Frequently, the movements he makes with his hand or his chin on his joystick to move with his wheelchair are often the most reliable, efficient and reproducible movements he can produce, and sometimes the only ones he masters.

Thanks to the mobilization of users, charitable organisation and association, great progress has been made in recent years by manufacturers to offer suitable equipment and by game publishers to develop in-game accessibility parameters, but for yet, it's impossible to play directly using the joystick from a wheelchair  as an input device .

Power wheelchair users manage to play by making specific set ups, based on switches, dedicated interfaces and external joysticks, but this often requires the help of a third party to set up external equipment and make connections.

It would be so much easier  to play directly with a familiar controller, which has proven itself because it is known, mastered by users and used on a daily basis.

The most frustrating is that it’s already possible to control the cursor of a mouse using a wheelchair’s joystick. Why not a video games stick?

Having knowledge of its different elements, I wanted to design an assistive device that would allow powerchair user's to play video games, control a smartphone or a computer, using the movements made on their wheelchair's joystick.

And as much as possible, make this device accessible, easily reproducible, customizable to adapt to the specific needs of each user