Posts with «accessibility» label

Elderly Remote Keeps Things Simple

If you are lucky, you’ve never experienced the heartbreak of watching a loved one lose their ability to do simple tasks. However, as hackers, we have the ability to customize solutions to make everyday tasks more accessible. That’s what [omerrv] did by creating a very specific function remote control. The idea is to provide an easy-to-use interface for the most common remote functions.

This is one of those projects where the technology puzzle is now pretty easy to solve: IR remotes are well-understood and there are plenty of libraries for recording and playing back signals. The real work is to understand the user’s challenges and come up with a workable compromise between something useful and something too complex for the user to deal with.

Fortunately, with all the prototyping tools readily available now, it is easy to experiment with different setups to see what would work best. Larger keys? Color coding? A different arrangement of buttons? All of those things are easy to experiment with and, of course, what works for one person might not work for another. Even given time, it is possible that different configurations will work better or worse for the same person.

It isn’t likely that you’d duplicate [omerrv’s] remote directly. It may not work for your purpose. But it is a good inspiration on how we can use our ability to create customized hardware to improve the quality of life for those who need help.

We’ve seen similar projects — each one is a bit different. We wonder if old-fashioned remotes with their natural limitations would be a bit easier for people to handle?

RC Lawn Mower Keeps The Grass Greener On Your Side Of The Fence

For some people, mowing the lawn is a dreaded chore that leads to thoughts of pouring a concrete slab over the yard and painting it green. Others see it as the perfect occasion to spend a sunny afternoon outside. And then there are those without the luxury of having a preference on the subject in the first place. [elliotmade] for example has a friend who’s sitting in a wheelchair, and would normally have to rely on others to maintain his lawn and form an opinion on the enjoyability of the task. So to retain his friend’s independence, he decided to build him a remote-controlled lawn mower.

After putting together an initial proof of concept that’s been successfully in use for a few years now, [elliotmade] saw some room for improvement and thought it was time for an upgrade. Liberating the drive section of an electric wheelchair, he welded a frame around it to house the battery and the mower itself, and added an alternator to charge the battery directly from the mower’s engine. An RC receiver that connects to the motor driver is controlled by an Arduino, as well as a pair of relays to switch both the ignition and an electric starter that eliminates the need for cord pulling. Topping it off with a camera, the garden chores are now comfortably tackled from a distance, without any issues of depth perception.

Remote-controlling a sharp-bladed machine most certainly requires a few additional safety considerations, and it seems that [elliotmade] thought this out pretty well, so failure on any of the involved parts won’t have fatal consequences. However, judging from the demo video embedded after break, the garden in question might not be the best environment to turn this into a GPS-assisted, autonomous mower in the future. But then again, RC vehicles are fun as they are, regardless of their shape or size.

Watch These Makers Transform a Wheelchair into an Interactive Bumblebee Costume

Central Florida Maker groups use their diverse skills to create an interactive Bumblebee costume in only 3 weeks for a Magic Wheelchair recipient.

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The post Watch These Makers Transform a Wheelchair into an Interactive Bumblebee Costume appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Blind Arduino Project Proves You Don’t Need to See to Build Electronics

William Gerrey and Dr. Joshua Miele made the Blind Arduino Project to help those in the blind community expand their STEM and Maker education.

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The post Blind Arduino Project Proves You Don’t Need to See to Build Electronics appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Father Creates an Interactive Toy that Hones Fine Motor Skills for Son with Autism

Abu Zubair developed a toy to help his son with fine motor skills. Now this toy is helping many more children with autism.

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The post Father Creates an Interactive Toy that Hones Fine Motor Skills for Son with Autism appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.