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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wheelchair Hacking

On Black Friday I went to the local thrift store and bought a Jazzy 1113 electric wheelchair($150). After replacing the batteries($120) I decided that if I could sell it for $1000 I would sell it but if it did not sell in a week then I would keep it. Well after a week of being on the market, I took it off Craigslist and I started to disassemble it. I quickly found out that this was not what I had thought it was in terms of complexity and time needed to hack it. So I went through the control system systematically and I found several things that interested me. For example, the joystick in the controller is not a regular 2 potentiometer joystick, it is a inductive joystick. The fact that the system runs on 12 volts for the controller and 24 volts for the motors forced me to think out of the box. My final goal was to have the wheelchair controller by an arduino with commands being sent to it via an XBEE radio radio link. Well at the time I'm writing this I am still working on figuring out how the controls work. As soon as I make some headway into this project I will give you an update.