We wanted to create a means of universal control, something that can hack into and control almost any electronic device in the home. These electronic devices may seem easy enough to access already but for some, even basic mobility can not be taken for granted. Things as simple as turning on and off a light switch may be out of reach to those who have lost or never gained the ability to move freely.
Our system in conjunction with the LEAP Motion Controller allows those users to navigate freely and remotely access and control many household systems with nothing more than simple hand gestures,opening up a new chapter in user autonomy and self reliance. Through the increased autonomy and relative low cost of the system it even retains the potential to reduce medical and care costs.
How it works
The Leap Motion Controller sits below the arm rest of the wheelchair allowing the user to have their hand rest comfortably, unobstructed by joysticks or other physical controls. By default, the wheelchair starts in drive mode allowing the user to control their wheelchair by moving their fist fore and aft of the resting position. Turning is no more difficult, controlled by simple side to side motions of the wrist and/or arm. Moving your arm left turns the chair left and similarly, moving your arm right turns the chair right. The LCD displays the current menu the user in and by drawing a circle with their finger, they can cycle through the various menus, such as the light or TV control mode as seen in the demo. Within these auxiliary menus, the movement of the wheelchair is disabled and only the systems selected modes are active, allowing the user to control the programmed appliances with their respective gestures, removing any risk of accidental movement. All these actions are intuitive and feel completely natural. They can cycle through menus at any time giving them full control over their appliances and their wheelchair from a single unit.