Category: Lower Extremity Disabilities

Birdie Buddy

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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of a wheelchair mount for a camera and binoculars for an avid photographer and birdwatcher with quadriplegia. The Birdie Buddy clamps securely to a bar on the wheelchair base frame, holds a camera or binoculars at eye level, and folds down along the side of the wheelchair when not in use. This device supports the weight of the camera or binoculars, convenient switching between the two pieces of equipment, and an adjustable viewing angle. The Birdie Buddy is composed of four parts: a hinged clamp affixed to the left side of the user's wheelchair, a moving arm, a camera mount, and a binoculars mount. The clamp makes use of a curved surface as well as an L-plate to ensure a stable connection between the wheelchair base and the rest of the device. The clamp secures to the wheelchair frame with a single four-arm knob screw. The moving arm lifts upward and rotates, providing resting and viewing positions. A horizontal member at the top of the moving arm contains a vertical hole that accepts either the camera or binoculars mount. Both the camera and binoculars mounts use a modified microphone stand hinge mounted to a solid aluminum pin. To use the Birdie Buddy, the user slides the pin into the corresponding hole in the horizontal member, and rotates the hinge to obtain the desired viewing angle. Friction within the hinge holds the camera or binoculars steady. The cost of parts is approximately $230. TITLE: Birdie Buddy – Wheelchair Mounted Camera and Binoculars. JOURNAL: NSF 2010 Engineering Senior Design Projects to Aid Persons with Disabilities. REF: Chapter 7: pp. 68-69. PAGES: 3 with cover. 2010.


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Birdie Buddy