Introduction: Voice Controlled Hospital Bed by Wifi

About: We are a community of people with disabilities and volunteers devoted to addressing specific, unmet disability-related challenges through DIY projects and collaboration.

For many people with significant mobility impairment, the function of sitting up, raising the feet or changing the height of a hospital bed provides comfort throughout the night for sleeping and may even allow for greater independence. For myself, as an individual with a spinal cord injury who became paralyzed, I depend on the functions of the hospital bed every day. But sometimes it can be hard to find the control for the bed since I cannot feel my hands, move my fingers or move my arms under the blankets. Given the hospital bed is made up of simple switches I figured why not use an assistant like Google Home or Alexa to control the bed. This instructable builds off this project. We retain the original function of the controller so no bed function is lost or if power goes out or the Wi-Fi down nothing changes. It just gives control by Wi-Fi too.

I started with a photon particle for Wi-Fi control and six relays for the six functions of the bed (head up, head down, feet up, feet down, full bed up, full bed down). Since then we have refined it and recently sent out and got PCBs fabricated to make the device more robust and start making a handful of them for others in the community who could also benefit from such a project.

As a cofounder of, myself(Drew McPherson), Francisco, Jason, Mimi, and Jefferson have all worked on it here and there at our meetups. If this is something that could be useful for you and you'd like to try it let us know and we could send one to you.


  1. Photon Particle - Link
  2. Relay Boards or solid-state relays as used here (Digi-Key Part Number1835-1218-ND)
  3. rj45 or rj 50 cable (with testing we actually discovered that the RJ-45 cable also worked)
  4. rj4/50 female socet
  5. power suply

Step 1: Understanding the Bed

First off we have to understand that there's the six switches or momentary push buttons within the controller, two for each direction of the motors that drive the feet, the head, and the overall bed. This control uses in RJ 50, 10 pin connector to feed into the controller board as pictured in the white cable.

Step 2: Wiring

Above you can see the circuit diagrams for the PCB we had fabricated. You can also see the relay board which you could use to repeat the project. As you can see by the circuit diagram the two RJ 45 connectors are always connected retaining the original function of the controller. It is worthy noting that the logic signal the controller delivers is 35 V at nearly 100 mA. We designed the circuit under the assumption we did not have access to the internal ground of the motor controller in the bed thus fully isolating switching with the solid-state relays. However if an RJ 50 cable is used there is access to ground so in future iterations we may switch to that.

Step 3: Testing With Particle Photo

using tinker

Step 4: IFTTT

  1. First you have to make an account
  2. next select create or my applets from the dropdown from your profile picture
  3. click "this" and search google assistant and inter triggers and save
  4. next click "that" and search particle- will have to setup with particle account first time
  5. select function and input

Step 5: Code Integration

The code and implementation was inspired by the by JimenaI3.

We used if then then that to send the command to our Google assistant and vice versa.

Assistive Tech Contest

Participated in the
Assistive Tech Contest