Remote control for wheelchair

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The challenge

Remote control for wheelchairSue has multiple sclerosis and uses an electric wheelchair. She can drive an adapted car but once she has transferred into it she is unable to put the wheelchair away before she drives off – at the other end of her journey she has another wheelchair available. She asked Richard Brown at the Basingstoke panel whether he could help.

Richard made a remote control based on a multi-channel model aircraft system, which was unlikely to be affected by children using radio-controlled toys in the vicinity.

The control unit Sue carries has two joysticks – one to operate the the on-off switch, the other controlling forward/back and left/right movement in exactly the same way as the joystick on the chair. Richard found rechargeable batteries for the unit which lasted over 24 hours.

Sue is thrilled. She can now leave the house and use the car any time she wants without having to be sure someone would be around to help. She says, “I’m now free, independent and totally amazed!”