Electrically Controlled iPad Support Arm

Project  / Project number: DB-034-18  /  Status:

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The challenge

Colin has MND and lives down stairs, spending almost all his time in a riser/recliner chair.  He likes to watch YouTube on his iPad and has it mounted on a stand in a convenient position in front of him.  The problem was that it was in the way when he needed to leave his chair.  The challenge was to modify the stand, in a way that Colin could control, so the iPad could be retracted.

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The solution

Colin wanted his existing iPad stand motorising to allow his iPad to be moved from in front of him.
The solution was to use a 12 volt linear motor, operated by very sensitive switches, that Colin could operate with the very little movement in his hands due to his MND.
The control panel and relay system were custom made and operated from a supplied 12 volt power source.
The linear motor had to be very light weight but powerful enough to drive the stand arm.
A suitable motor was sourced from Canada.
The iPad stand was modified by the addition of the motor mechanism, which then gave an extend range of 12 inches, and retracted the iPad to clear the chair, allowing Colin to get out.

The benefit

The addition of the retraction system gave Colin independence.  He no longer needed the help of carers if he wanted to move his iPad, either to a position to use it, or out of the way when not in use or when he wished to leave the chair.

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