Today, we are glad to present you Philip Case, aka Cap, e-Wheelchair project. We started talking with Cap a couple of weeks ago, via Twitter, and he surprised us with his really incredible idea: an all purpose e-Wheelchair controlled by mind using Neurosky products only!
First of all, lets introduce Philip and his story: he is a 42 year old english maker, who has been disabled after injuring his C Spine in an accident. He has a good mind but not the body to do the things he wants: he has his left hand amputated after his accident as nerves had been damaged. He has also RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Nerve Dystrophy) caused by the accident which led to his health condition.
He has an implant from Medtronic fitted over 20 years ago as an experiment: a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted across his C spine directly on him... The other implant is a painful needle that sits under his skin, wich constantly monitor his diabetes and regularly sends info from a small transmitter. The e-Health V2 implemented in the e-Wheelchair is very important for remove this implant and will help so many people now and in the future. But it's only the first step...
He might have only one hand and be wheelchair dependent but the hand and thumb he has work perfect, as does his mind. He his fighting hard everyday in order to use EEG signals to control an special wheelchair (he cannot use a normal chair due to his injuries and he is not permitted to use a conventional electric wheelchair as he got spasms in his right arm and it could be a hazard).
His idea and the work he has done so far is based around the NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile and the Mindflex EEG. He has managed to control forward and reverse, and steering will use 2 low level lasers with a beam that will work as steering and a deadman switch.
He is also working in the implementation of the e-Health system by Cooking Hacks to monitor vital body parameters such as ECG or Blood Glucose.
The other sensors will also be part of the e-Wheelchair, as he has named it (Cap told us it is his "baby project" ;). In adition, it will also incorporate a GSM/GPRS module along with a body position sensor. He is thinking also in the conection with a tablet or phone using both Bluetooth and USB. His idea is to give independence to the user, as everything can be monitored remotely!
He is using the Arduino based system as he thinks is the easiest way to put all the parts together, all code is available and he can focus on the chair setup. The main effort now is to control it over the EEG mind control. He is improving this part right now.
Cooking Hacks is giving technical support to Cap, helping him promoting his project and following his story closely! NeuroSky is providing him the equipment and development software free of charge to help people live better lives with the e-Wheelchair.
We feel this project has a lot of potential and is relatively cheap compared to wheelchairs without such advances and tech!
We will post more info as the project move forward!