Generic Controller for the Developmentally Disabled

Period of Performance: 04/01/1991 - 09/30/1991


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Dvp, Inc.
2401 Reserach Blvd., Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20850
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION: (Adapted from investigator's abstract) Many developmentally disabled children are dependent on assistive devices to help them control their external environments (appliances, tools, etc.). Devices presently available are limiting in that these devices are designed conservatively to accommodate any developmentally disabled individual. Unfortunately, for those children that could control more of their environment, these devices are frustrating due to the limitations that they impose. A device is needed that is generic enough to allow these more capable children to control their environments, while still allowing more severely disabled individuals to control their environments, too. DVP, Inc. proposes to develop such an environment controller that is driven by real-time hand motions from the users. As motion can be relatively simple or complex, the device will be suitable for interfacing with developmentally disabled children with varying degrees of cognitive and physical disabilities. JULY 1990 The device will be programmable in that each child will develop his/her own set of motion-based commands to control the environment. As such, the device characteristics will be different for each individual, but the same device can be used across a wide variety of children for a variety of applications. By interfacing the interpreted motions with devices in the children's environments, these children will have a level of control that was not previously available.