Video Game Controller ?! Nope! A Power Wheelchair Joystick Control!

Happy Thursday Everyone! and Happy Thanksgiving to our neighbours in the States! I hope that there are some good sales for all of those Black Friday shoppers out there. Today, I thought I would introduce a very cool product on the market. It’s called the “Drive Station” power wheelchair control that is essentially made from a video game controller. This product is made by Switch-It Inc and has two mini proportional joysticks as well as “action and direction pad buttons”. The client can use the proportional joysticks or the buttons to drive a power wheelchair. This is a very cool product that was originally designed for war veterans with Acquired Brain Injuries. Apparently, they found that some of these injured war veterans had more success learning to use the Drive Station control in comparison to a standard joystick. Perhaps because the system was quite intuitive and familiar…

I have not trialed this product with any war veterans, however, I have recently trialed this product with a client with Muscular Dystrophy with Motion Specialties. What’s quite nice about this drive system is that it can be placed at midline and the client can use either their left or right hand to drive. This is a great option for clients who may fatigue quickly with one hand as they can easily switch to their other hand if needed. Also, if using the proportional joysticks becomes too difficult, the buttons on the Drive Station also can be used to drive the wheelchair. Some things to consider with this product, however, are that the proportional joysticks do have a bit more resistance than the go-to HMC Mini Joy. In addition, if the Drive Station is not mounted on a fixed mount, it could slide out of reach for some clients or be set-up in the wrong position for optimal access. I am currently still working on a custom seating system with Ability Health Care for this client. Once seating system and the custom mounting of this control is completed, I will definitely share the pictures with you so stay tuned!

Thanks for checking in today!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

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