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Category: Games and Puzzles

Video Game Buddy

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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To design a video game controller “buddy” that enables an individual with quadriplegia to play video games. The Video Game Buddy allows an individual with quadriplegia to control the buttons (hands-free) on the video game controller by sipping into puff straws mounted on a headset. Head switches attached to a headrest trigger the directional pad. The Video Game Buddy is made of two parts: 1) the input box and 2) the switches. The input box is made of plastic with dimensions of 5 by 2 inches. This box is lightweight and allows enough room for the components needed. The components of the box are a solder board, Basic Stamp 2 module (BS2), a decoder, 3.5 millimeter jacks, and an Xbox controller by Microsoft™. The outer components of the Video Game Buddy are switches. The switches used were a quad-puff system and compact head switches, both designed by Enabling
Devices™. The quad-puff system was selected because it is an easy method for those with quadriplegia. The puff system was used as four inputs to the input box. Since there are many buttons on the Xbox controller, only nine of the buttons were used. It was designed this way to make the gaming experience less complicated with the four straws. Each straw input has the ability to control two buttons, except for the last straw, which controls three buttons. There are four head switches, used for the directional pad. The head switches are positioned so that the user can easily trigger the switch with slight pressure from the head. The inputs from the puff straws are processed within the input box with the BS2. The BS2 sends a signal to the decoder, which sends a signal to the appropriate button on the Xbox controller. The inputs from the head switches are directly connected to the controller for real-time movement. When the controller is plugged in, the Microsoft™ Xbox console supplies power. The cost of parts was approximately $375. TITLE: Video Game Buddy: For Individuals with Quadriplegia. JOURNAL: NSF 2006 Engineering Senior Design Projects to Aid Persons with Disabilities. REF: Chapter 15: pp. 266-267. PAGES: 3 with cover. 2006.

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