During the Challenge, the Thingiverse community is asked to come up with designs for people with disabilities and make them available to others. More than 170 designs were submitted, and the Mouth Operated Mouse, designed by Tobias Wirtl, topped them all, per a media release from MakerBot.
Wirtl designed the mouse to enable more people with disabilities to use the Web, and to be inexpensive so that more people can afford it.
“There are many new technologies that people with disabilities can’t access, and in my opinion everyone should be able to benefit from today’s media, especially the Internet,” Wirtl says in the release.
“That’s why I decided to create a device that would allow people to navigate the Web. Products like these sell for hundreds of dollars. I created this one with one 3D printer and about $20 worth of commonly available components.”
The mouse, as designed, moves the computer cursor using a mouthpiece, which works like a joystick. Pushing the mouthpiece toward the case operates the right mouse button. The left mouse button is emulated by a sensor that recognizes when the user sucks air through it. The system is controlled by an Arduino Pro Micro and can be connected to virtually any PC via USB, the release explains.
Per the release, the second-place winner was the HU-GO—a 3D-printable wheelchair for people in third-world countries. Third place was Assistive Devices for Assistive Dogs, which are made to help service dogs manipulate environments that aren’t designed for them.
For more information, visit MakerBot.
[Source(s): MakerBot, Business Wire]