Business model

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 10/19/2022 at 12:580 Comments

This project may not save the world, but it’s a small illustration of the best humanity can achieve. In a world with limited resources, share is essential for meet our needs. Without open innovation and sharing, this project would not have seen the light of day.

I am a trained Occupationnal therapist, not a programmer or a mechanical engineer, and I have been able, with the help of users, my practice and my experience, to identify a problem, a real need and try to solve this. Works generously  put available by others helped me a lot to prototype and outline a solution to this problem.

We must now mobilize to improve this aid, test it on a larger scale and explore ways to spread it in collaboration with others.

This is not a precise study, but we have different ideas to spread this solution, relying on existing communities, the disability ecosystem and imagining other solution.

- DIY distribution:

We want to offer an open solution, so that everyone can make it, alone or with the help of others, modify it and use it as they wish.

For sure we can rely on the strength and generosity of the Maker movement, FABLABS and hackerspace all around the world. I’m thinking of very active groups and associations like as example Makers Making change, AT makers and users, Able gamers, My Human kit and many others existing.

- We are also considering a commercial approach to allow access to as many people as possible  Fabrication kit sale : Including hardware necessary for fabrication (electronics, enclosure + electronics) and final product sale.

We can approach our project from the angle of a Concept Maturity Level evaluation to study its different dimensions : Need, Programmatic and Technical.


There are different target users:

We live in a hyper-technological world, and many people don’t have the appropriate control interfaces. Imagine yourself in front of your PC without a mouse or in front of your console without a controller. How frustrating!

Yet many people around the world encounter this situation. It is estimated that 65 million people worldwide need a wheelchair and studies show that approximately 30% of which used powered wheelchairs

It’s a huge number, many users wait for a solution to access a mouse or play video games, whatever the origin of their disability.

Trough our experience and our modest user test, We can note a great need of customization for users to tailor solution to their needs.

Power wheelchair users are unfortunately accustomed to paying high prices on specialized equipment, our solution must be affordable. It would change a bit.

The maker movement has really developed in recent years, and to respond to disability issues, open innovation is increasingly used. Specialized communities working with disabled people, makers and health professionals have emerged and are very active. For example quote Makers Making change, AT makers and users, Able gamers, My Human kit and many others existing.

These advanced users know the technologies, want to make useful projects and objects and have the ability to make things evolve.

As part of the dissemination of this project, they will be part of the co-developers and early adopters who will help us develop the solution.

They can help people make it in DIY mode, or by help assembly buying kits, and improve-it.

It is also important to rely on associations and communities of users, people with disabilities and those of health professionals and support and other associations here in France and internationally

Assistive devices market is particular because it is smaller than mass market compsution.

Often prices are very high (due to high research and development costs, regulatory aspects) and small series production.

Offering an affordable solution using different marketing methods can be a differentiating competitive advantage. An international opening is also important to reach a large number of user.

The choice of open innovation is a plus to ensure its dissemination, development, add new features, and develop a community.


It will be necessary to seriously study this question and define a regulatory strategy.

We will have to choose between a consumer product versus a medical device certification.

At a minimum, the solution must comply with the consumer laws and regulations in force in different countries.

Until now,  the development of the project is done with limited means, only one person and three users. To get it out of the garage, the search for new skills via open innovation and the creation of a real project team (technical, business, communication…) is necessary and will condition growth.

We will have to quickly define the statutes of the entity that will carry the project (business creation) and will ensure its development and its distribution.

For the moment the development has been carried out at low cost, in a logic of development, it will be necessary to raise funds to continue the development, follow user tests and study the different possibilities of distribution.

Participation in competitions, calls for projects can help to obtain a starting letter, which will have to be completed by other means (crowdfunding campaign, fundraising)


We believe in the power of open source to maximize access. Without opence source, this project would remain an idea.

We choose a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license so that as many people as possible can fabric, use, remix and share our solution.

In the future, we would like to obtain an Open hardware certification from OSHWA, and we will have to rethink licence choice for more permissive one.

After carrying out a proof of concept, we managed to develop two functional prototypes that could be tested by users.

Challenges to be solved in terms of mechanical and software design are numerous but workable.

We have some ideas for future development, with the addition of new features and challenges to be met.


We will have to quickly improve the device to make it more user friendly, test it on a larger scale, study different fabrication process, to go from a prototype to a final product.


Our project is rather developed in Need and Technical fields.

We must now improve Programmatic aspects to federate other skills, build a team, define a real business model and develop partnerships to growth.

On our small scale, we are convinced of the merits of this solution and its values, and we want to share them, so that many people can control a mouse, and find or rediscover the pleasure to play video games.