Category: Motor Disability Access

Sugru Diy Accessibility Switch

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--- "DO IT YOURSELF" ENTRY -------DESCRIPTION: A thermoplastic cuff formed to the thigh which has a pointer attached to it. This device allows an individual to point on a communication board, play certain musical instruments, paint, etc.
PURPOSE: To offer students who have some control of hip movements (but very poor or absent head, arm, or hand control) a method for interacting with the objects in their environment.

MATERIALS USED: 1 x Tattoo Foot pedal, 1 x 5 gram SUGRU rubber compound, 1x 3.5 millimeter Mono Plug (e.g. Maplin HF80B), Knife
Optional: Pliers, Wire Strippers and ruler.
Note: If you replace the SUGRU fixing with solder (assuming you have a soldering iron) or glue you will of course reduce costs further.

The thermoplastic cuff should be approximately 2/3 the circumference of the student’s thigh and about 3 ½ inches wide.
1. Cut off plug.
Carefully cut off the 6.35 millimeter plug connector. This is too big for modern day switch accessible assistive technology. We need to fit the smaller 3.5 millimeter one.

N.B. Unscrew your new 3.5 millimeter mono plug, and then thread your wire through it (image of black-wire from Acrylic Tattoo pedal adaptation).

2.Strip the wire ends.
Split the two wires apart (about 1.5 centimeters), then strip the tips off (about 8 millimeters one side and 12 millimeters the other). Twirl the wires a few times to make them tight and easier to thread through the two holes in the plug.

3.Wire Up Plug.
Thread the 12 millimeter length through the bottom hole, and the 8mm through the top hole of your 3.5 millimeter plug. There should be enough wire to wrap them around onto themselves as tightly as you can against the metal, ready for fixing into place.

Cut out and roll thin sausages of SUGRU to insulate and hold the wires into place. Ideally, use pliers to wrap the metal tags at the bottom of the plug around the plastic coated wires to hold them into position better.

When ready, screw the black plastic barrel casing over the SUGRU, cleaning away any excess as you go. Carefully use pliers if you don't have the strength to fully do the plug up together. You should end up with something like the switch at the top of this page.

SUGRU takes about a day to cure, but if you're careful, you can use your foot pedal switch straight away. Remember to always hold onto the barrel of the plug to connect and disconnect. Don't pull from the wire to remove your foot switch as you could break the connections inside.

The fun bit as always (if it works first go) is testing your switches. I'm using a DIY solderless PC Switch interface above, which allows me to test the buttons with the "Set up USB game controllers" utility (found by typing that into your Start search bar text box). You can just as well use any other switch accessible device of course.


Price Check
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Cost of materials