Project Natasha … switchaccessible sailing of a Micro Magicradio controlled yachtDr Michael TaylorExcitim LimitedTel: +44 (0)8707 117153Web: www.dream-racer.comBlog: http://excitim.biz16/04/2011 1
Introduction … Excitim what we do Design and produce assistive / adaptive technology products for disabled individuals or those with special learning needs. Products incorporating motion sensitive switches or adapted for switch access. Mark Heath Mike Taylor Toys, gaming, computer access, music, switches …16/04/2011 2
Excitim … switch adapted or accessibleapplications Fun products Dream-Racer – radio controlled cars & trucks Dream-Toys – switch adapted toys Dream-Media – music, photos and video Technical products Domino-IR & -EPG programmable infra-red controllers Dream-Melody – switch system for Soundbeam Wireless switches Infra-red switches Switch Filter, Anti-Tremor switch, Sustained Pressure switch & LIP switch training prompt Switch-aids for use with environmental control systems16/04/2011 3
Project Natasha … switch accessibleMicro Magic yacht Natasha is a 13 year old young lady with a cerebral palsy condition. Gary, her dad, is a keen sailor and member of the local yacht club (Isle of White) and wanted to introduce Natasha to sailing. Sailing a radio controlled yacht was thought to be an excellent starting point. Natasha needed an adapted transmitter that could be controlled using her two Sipp/Puff switches. The search began: Gary contacted Mike Weston (RC Yachts). He contacted Charles Fox (Traxsys Ltd) to ask about assistive technology joysticks. Charles directed them to Mike Taylor (Excitim Ltd) Excitim agreed to work of the project (Mark Heath, Paul Bloor) Note: sipp/puff switches work by sucking (sipp) and blowing (puff) through the mouthpiece to send a switch signal through to a connected device.
Project specification Excitim was asked to devise a system that would allow one Sipp/Puff switch to control the rudder and a second to control the sail. Rudder: three positions were required: central position fully left or fully right and controlled by a single suck or blow through the switch. Without any intervention by Natasha the rudder should remain in the central position. Sail: the sail should be fully controllable: it should move left when puffed and right when sipped it should hold position without any intervention by Natasha.
Switch accessible sailing rig no changeno change new adapted technology Black BoxSipp/Puff Switch accessible Spectrumswitches Interface for: DX5e - sail & rudder Micro Magic - built into the Spectrum
Spectrum DX5e … externalmodificationsTwo new jack sockets One additionalSipp/Puff input for sail & Mode switchrudder Note: the mode switch does not affect the rudder control inputs, this was done to allow Natasha to initially concentrate on controlling the sail and will allow a “buddy” to control the rudder. With more experience Natasha will have the ability to control both sail and rudder herself.
Spectrum DX5e … internalmodification An additional circuit board and software was designed to condition the Sipp/Puff signals and to interface them to the Spectrum transmitter. The additional circuit board was built into the Spectrum transmitter – see picture. Follow-up projects would use a commercially produced circuit board and require CE certification. additional circuit board & components
Completed project … The completed project was delivered to Natasha in early 2010. Some feedback from Gary: “It’s a brilliant idea and for Natasha to have something that she can really control and play with. She is an intelligent girl but gets really bored and frustrated because she can’t play with any other toys, it’s wonderful to see her now”. “Natasha has not stopped playing with the yacht since she got it, and she can’t wait to go down to the lakes. “She’s picked up the controls really quickly”