Sip and Puff TV Control
The client spent long periods in bed with her only entertainment being a wall mounted TV stuck on whichever channel the last carer had set it on. On the first appraisal visit it was quickly established that there was no capacity to operate a switch mechanism either by hand or foot, so the idea of a Sip and Puff switch was raised.
For such an occasional use, the commercially available items were deemed prohibitively expensive.
A pressure transducer chip was housed in a small box mounted on a goose neck support, clamped to the bed bars. A small length of flexible silicon tubing and a plastic drinking straw provided a mouthpiece. Some interface electronics were designed which then provided signals to a hacked off-the-shelf universal TV remote controller. This was housed in a unit to be mounted on bed side bars, with a mains adapter 12V supply.
It was also explained to the client that once a Sip and Puff switch was in use, it was possible to add an interface to a Bluetooth device which would pair with any Bluetooth item such as a smartphone or tablet. In particular, Apple devices have built in Switch Control on iPhones and iPads. The incremental cost to build this in was approximately £20 and as the client expressed a great interest in doing this and already had Apple products it was decided this was worthwhile.
Bedford North Panel subsequently received another very similar referral, but possibly requiring extension to control further items. 3D printing and Arduino components have been used to produce a very elegant and cost effective design for a Sip and Puff TV remote control which can be easily and cheaply replicated.