STEM II: Assistive Technology

In STEM II, students worked together in small groups to develop and implement assistive technology devices. I worked with Erika Lam, Jessie Taubert, and Donny Le to create an adaptive device for the Wii remote.

WiiAssist: Adaptive Device for Using a Wii Remote for Individuals With Cerebral Palsy

Problem Statement & Motivation

An individual with cerebral palsy struggles with utilizing fine motor skills and lack of strength, therefore limiting their ability to play the Wii and use a Wii remote.

Project Goal

The goal of this project is to create or modify a Wii remote that has larger and easier to use buttons, requires less force and effort, and is more accessible to the user overall.

Our Solution

We considered a few different design ideas including a remapped game board and a stand. The idea that we ended up pursuing was a modified case for the Wii remote as it satisfied most of our requirements. This case has larger buttons inserted through the top of the case and can be played with it resting on a wheelchair tray. The Wii remote can also be removed from the case, allowing it to be compatible with different machines without damaging the actual remote. We went through a variety of different iterations for this design which can be seen below.

Case Drawing

Designs & Iterations

Cardboard Prototype

The first iteration we created was a cardboard prototype. The case was secured together using hot glue and the labels for the buttons were drawn on. The main purpose of this iteration was to provide a proof of concept and evaluate the structure of our design.

Cardboard Prototype

Wood Prototype

We also made a wooden model following a similar construction as the cardboard prototype. We made two different versions of the top piece: one with smaller round holes and the other with larger more open holes with a plus-shaped D-button hole. We found that the smaller holes were better for reducing the displacement of the buttons so we used this information for our future iterations.

Wood Prototype

Earlier 3D Printed Prototypes

We had a few different iterations that were created using CAD and printed them using PLA filament. A few iterations had some printing errors, rendering them unusable. We had originally designed the case to be printed as one piece, but found that it printed more accurately and worked better when the case was printed in two pieces. These two pieces were a bottom and a lid with teeth that allowed them to line up and click together.

Failed Case 1 Failed Case 3 Failed Case 2

Current Design Approach

Our current design combines the different aspects of our past prototypes that best met our requirements. The case is printed with PLA filament in two parts and can be assembled by lining up the teeth and the holes. Wooden dowels attached to our wooden buttons go through these holes to line up with the Wii remote. The B button is attached to a popsicle stick that acts as a lever when pushed down. The case is blue with yellow buttons to aid a user in distinguishing the different parts.

Current Prototype

Final Prototype CAD Final Prototype 2 Final Prototype 1

Future Extensions

Currently, we aim to continue our work on this project. We are working on improving our current case design as well as attempting to reconfigure the Wii remote in order to better address our client’s needs. A larger, reconfigured Wii remote has the potential to allow a user to use less precision and force to play the game.

We have begun planning a new design that utilizes sensors to trigger motors that will press the buttons on the Wii. This allows the button to be spread out more and for them to be in a position that is easier for our client to reach. The sensors also help with decreasing the accuracy and strength that our previous design required.

Remapped Wii Design

Poster & Presentation