DIY Solder-less Assistive Tech Foot Switches

DIY Solderless Assistive Technology foot pedal for switch adapted/accessible equipment. Image of an adapted Skull Tattoo foot pedal.

The picture above is of a Skull Tattoo pedal adapted to connect to standard switch adapted equipment. This one takes nothing more than the pedal, a 3.5mm mono plug, a knife and a 5g pouch of SUGRU to create. No soldering required. Pop over to OneSwitch.org.uk's DIY guide for step-by-step help.

The costs using SUGRU broke down for me as £8.23 for the Skull pedal and £6.40 for the Acrylic pedal (see below). This was assuming I purchased a £6.50 three pack of 5g SUGRU.

Potentially reducing costs further would be to glue or solder the connections, with the cost going down to £4.98 or £3.15. In SUGRU's favour, the former solution is cleaner and removes the need for soldering.

Next on the agenda, is a DIY solder-less versatile switch and joystick interface for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, which you can glimpse below.


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PS3 Head Tracker

Photo of a man in an electric wheelchair, playing a baseball PS3 game, using just his head-movements and the press of a single button.

Switch accessible Arduino has a PIC bitwacker USB host that gets plugged into the PS3 console and emulates a PS3 controller.

Screen shot of assistive technology set-up for PS3 control using a head-tracker and one-switch.

I've been slow in reposting this amazing creation that I first learnt about at The Controller Project site. It enables the user, Steve, to play PS3 games using a head-tracker and a single switch. The later iteration takes the PC screen and mixes it with the PS3 output. Brilliant! One day we'll see this as a standard console/computer option for games.

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Lucky Dip

Black and white image of a young girl operating a toy vending / capsule toy machine.

A huge swathe of interesting potential access developments have washed up in my e-mail lately. Too many to do justice to so here's another lucky dip post.

Teaching Switch Skills Beyond Cause and Effect: Brilliant to see Kate Aherne back blogging. This is one of her more recent invaluable posts.

London South Bank University Enable Gaming event: 31 Aug 2013 10:00-19:00 "Enable Gaming is inviting you to share your dev expertise with London Southbank University (LSBU) students and mentor them as they make one-button games in a day for Lifelites projects in children’s hospices. Enable Gaming is a project between Lifelites and LSBU." Via Siobhan Thomas on IGDA GASIG list.

Vibration developments: ViviTouch HD seeking to bring a wider range of feel to games than just rumbles. Via Sandra Uhling on the IGDA GASIG list.

Hybrid Braille: Thailand Association of The Blind's Storybook [and font] for All Eyes. Via Techni Myoko.

Kinect sensor modified for wheelchair gaming. Hello Microsoft! That would be great for the new Kinect, please.

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teletextart.com





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Space Madness


Space Madness and the History Eraser Button from Ren and Stimpy.

The History Eraser Button in Ren and Stimpy - not an accessibility switch.

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Playstation 3: Two Switch Accessibility



With the set-up above, two accessibility switches are all that are needed to browse the Playstation 3 menu system. From there you can freely switch between the likes of the BBC iPlayer, Netflix, photo albums, MP3s, the Playstation store, the internet and a range of one and two-switch playable games.

The set-up requires a PS3 connected via a Cronus adapter to a Windows PC, running JoyToKey and Bullseye with special profiles that you can download here. Two switches are connected to a C-SID (Button 1 and Button 2) but any USB connected joystick should work just fine too.

Really excited by some of the games that are now possible to make one or two-switch accessible: Poker Night 2, Pool, Golf, Fighting games, Dance mat games, Driving games, Pinball, sand-box exploration games, maybe point and click adventures and more.

Also pleased to find out that PSone CD based games work on all PS3s, so brilliant one-switch playable titles such as Destruction Derby, Um Jammer Lammy and Fluid are also back on the cards. More to follow...

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Switch Gaming on iOS (At Last!)



Brilliant videos from Colin McDonnell, and brilliant implementation of one-switch access so it seems. Looking forward to trying this out myself. Well done Colin and well done Apple! Seems there's a switch gaming revolution brewing (see my next post too).

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A History of Speech Synthesisers


Klatt's Last Tapes, by Lucy Hawkins, is a wonderful BBC 4 documentary on the history and impact of Speech Synthesisers. My first experiences of speech synthesisers were in amusement arcades: Bally's 1979 Gorgar "Me...Got...You", and Stern's Berzerk "Humanoid Chicken. Fight like a robot". It seemed so exotic and incredible to me at the time. A machine... that talks.

So impressed too by the work at Cereproc (which you can hear used in my Electronic Soup Podcasts) seeking to give people back their own voice if they loose it later in life. And the work to create voices that mature with the person to whom they are attached can't come soon enough.

Via: Duncan Edwards of Trabasack on Twitter.


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Best Xbox 360 One Hand Solution to date

Montage of a PS2 One Hand Controller, a PS2 to Xbox 360 adapter, and a XCM Re-mapper device. Great for making video games more accessible for one-handed gamers.

Jeff Humm recently bought a One Hand Controller from me, but struggled with the shoulder buttons (marked on the PS2 controller as L1, L2, R1 and R2). He tracked down a nice solution for his Xbox 360 for an extra £60 approx. on top of the price of the controller.

The hardware needed is: One One Handed Controller from me at OneSwitch for £55 plus postage (also easily available from eBay). A PS2 to Xbox 360 adapter from eBay (as pictured above) for about £11. An XCM Re-Mapper device from eBay which are currently going for about £50. There's no need to connect an official Xbox 360 JoyPad with this set-up either, which is a boon. You can do the same with PS3 as seen in this SpecialEffect video using the XCM Swapper.

With this set-up you can move the controls around to make a more comfortable/possible one-handed playing arrangement. If only all games allowed you to reconfigure controls from the off, Jeff could have saved himself £60. So many disabled gamers are penalised in this way. Seems unfair to me.

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Plea for Near Future Assistive Technology Help

Image of a scanned eye, linked to an appeal for MND AT support.

"I have Motor Neuron Disease and my arms are paralysed. I use computers via my eye gaze system and foot switches. However, since MND is a progressive condition, I need to look forward to when I may be reduced to using only my eyes or even brain waves. Therefore I need a way to interface my computer to things like my wheelchair, which are controlled by switches.

I was wondering if it would be possible for something like an arduino to emulate a switch. That is, to connect up a suitable jack plug and have the arduino send the appropriate electrical signals to emulate button click or hold. The arduino in turn could be controlled by programs running on a PC. I have a software background so could manage the programming, but I am pretty ignorant when it comes to electronics."

This plea above was e-mailed to me from Steve Thomas (who writes a number of blogs including the mighty-fine l337 epic blog with a MMORPG focus). Something like that might be so useful for so many reasons, perhaps Raspberry Pi or Arduino powered. Perhaps a little like the iOS Switchamajig. Perhaps taking a lead from BLEduino. If anyone can help, please get in touch.

DIY Accessible TV Remote with Huge Buttons

Large push button switches and switch adapted Doro remote control.

The very nice adaptation above was created for the quadriplegic brother of Bradley Boggs in California. He riffed off the DIY Switch Accessible Doro Learning Remote guide to create something unique.

The problem for his brother was that he couldn't change the channels on his TV for about 10 hours or so at night. Problem solved. Great work!

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Excitim

excitim special needs toys logo. Image of 9 thumb-nail pictures of switch adapted equipment. From top right spiraling clock-wise they read: Our Most Popular Toys, Age Range 3-6 years, Age Range 6-10 Years, Talking, Singing and Sensory Toys, Sensory Toys, Age Range 10 to teens, switch accessible music, switch accessible photography, switches.

Excitim has undergone a complete site redesign, and it's looking very nice for it. They've a wide range of accessible toys and gadgets, including a 10 megapixel camera, bubble machines, remote control cars and many sensory toys. A really professional and friendly UK company that I highly recommend.

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Adapted 4 All: iOS 7 Switch Access

Adapted 4 All logo.

Colin McDonnell of the superb Adapted 4 All, has recently posted the most illuminating video yet of iOS 7 switch access. Looking so good. I think Apple are about to win me over. But can it enable switch play of any/many games?

UPDATE from Colin: "I have had a blast at angry birds, checkers and 4 pics one word and they are pretty because they are not time sensitive. Candy crush is not so easy." I'm won over!

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