If you rely on power wheelchairs to get around, you can now use their joystick to play games as well. AbleGamers Charity just announced the Freedom Wing Adapter which transforms the joystick on a power wheelchair into an Xbox One Controller.
Wheelchair-bound people can input commands into the joystick. This is then translated by an adapter board and an Adafruit Feather M4 into commands that the Adaptive Controller can comprehend.
A manual is on its way
While there are many solutions available for people to play games right on their wheelchairs, they are often not very impressive. Freedom Wing allows gamers to even play Rocket League, which is considerably complex.
The project has received many grants, and AbleGamers has begun to work with its partner A.T. Makers to create a manual so that users can build one themselves.
With a little effort, most people can build their Freedom Wing Adapter
Those who wish to build a Freedom Wing Adapter can do so within $35. The cost of the Adaptive Controller will be separate, of course. Disabled people often experience boredom due to limited choices available to them in terms of gameplay. Many of the newer controllers and games are not disabled-friendly. There needs to be a lot of improvement on that front.
However, at least for now, the Freedom Wing Adapter comes as a solution that we all can look forward to. With just a little effort, wheelchair-bound people can start playing complex Xbox games right from their wheelchairs. Most importantly, they can do so on an interface that they are already familiar with.
Commercial development of the adapter is necessary
The contraption looks quite cumbersome to put together. However, one needs to remember that this is an improvised solution for something that hardly attracted any professional attention. Hopefully, this project will attract the attention of big corporations, and the adapters will be manufactured on a large scale. This will help disabled people all over the world to use their wheelchairs as a gaming accessory.
It is important to note that putting this controller and adapter together requires at least some basic skills. Many people may not have any such skills. This is one of the reasons why the commercial development of this adapter may be necessary for the future.