How do I go about hacking a wheelchair joystick?

I have a wheelchair and would like to use it as a base to a autonomous robot. I wonder if it would be better to hack the joystick or strip everthing away leaving the motors and frame and control it with Arduino or something similar. I have only used Arduino with small hobby motors. Looking for any suggestions.

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orksecurity7 years ago
I think the answer is going to depend on exactly how the joystick is designed, and what circuitry exists between it and the motors. Those are relatively big motors; they draw a fair bit of current, which means controller circuits would be needed to interface between them and the processor. My instinct would be to try to use the existing controllers (since we know they're adequate) and patch in at the joystick inputs, but... as I say, It Depends. I'd start by trying to get a schematic for the beast, then decide.
I would try to hack into the joystick also. It may be as easy as just connecting to the switches.

Plus if the joystick is still operational it can be used as a manual control for moving the robot around without setting up the programming.
jerkey7 years ago
I answered this exact question in step five (i think) of my "Brain Controlled Wheelchair" instructable

I explain the whole process of building the interface board, control algorithm, and even how you choose what resistors to use! check it out!
lane297 years ago
i would use 2 servos and some coathanger to move the jojstick
jeff-o7 years ago
Does the joystick plug into the wheelchair's controller? If so, it may use simple on/off signals that you can easily replicate with an arduino.