Development of an inexpensive environmental remote control system for a quadriplegic individual

P. E. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of this project was to adapt a Morse code system for the use with a personal computer by a high level quadriplegic individual to achieve greater independence around the home. This was done by eliminating the hardwire connection between the wheelchair computer and the personal computer, replacing it with a Morse Code Transmitter (MCT), The MCT performed the same function as the hardwire connection, but served as a remote controlled device. Each device function is controlled by a sip-and-puff switch. When the Morse code function is active (i.e. transmitting the Morse code from the sip-and-puff device to the computer), the wheelchair computer directs its activity to a specific output port within the wheelchair. The computer detects the position of the sip-and-puff switch, activating the desired function. The system has been pilot tested by the subject for a year with a number of advantages and disadvantages found. The subject has been satisfied with the system's reliability, ease of use, and its response time. Increased transmission range was requested, as well as a desire to control more aspects of the environment. Further evaluation and modification of the system is underway; miniaturization and improving the transmission characteristics are priorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
JournalBiomedical Sciences Instrumentation
StatePublished - 1995


  • Environmental control
  • Morse code
  • Wheelchair


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