The “Puffin” is an affordable and portable bluetooth joystick mouse with sip-puff capabilities. Many people with physical disabilities cannot access computers or smart devices without the use of stationary, single switches or mouth-operated joystick mice such as the Jouse or Quadjoy. However, these models are tethered by USB and power cables, and cost around a thousand dollars apiece.
Inspired by Adriana Mallozzi, who was our client at MIT's Assistive Technology Hackathon, our team created a working prototype that cost less than $300, and that can be used with smart devices (e.g. Android phones) in mobile settings. Puffin is battery-powered, includes a fully configurable mounting and positioning system for use in a bed, a wheelchair, or an airplane seat, and folds into a shoulder bag for transport. Its portability will allow for the easy adoption of smartphone-enabled home automation tools which can now be controlled by mouse, and greatly improve environmental control for its users.
Adriana has guided us in the development of every prototype thus far, testing them and directing us to make changes or new features necessary for usability. As an Easter Seals volunteer and accessibility tech expert, she is also well acquainted with the needs of other people in the disability community, and has helped us emphasize customizability in our designs. We plan to extend the design by adding more bluetooth modules, so that multiple devices can be paired to the mouse at once. We will also make a web application for the easy programming of sip-puff macros, as well as an Android app that will display the mouse state on the phone screen.
Here's our website for the puffin: http://puffinsip.com/