Switch Adapted Remote Control Dirigible Shark

About: The Assistive Technology department at The Center for Discovery, Inc. provides unique solutions for individuals with disabilities to maximize independence in all aspects of life. The Center for Discover...

A commercially available helium filled remote control shark was adapted to enable users with significant motor impairments to participate in using a remote control device. For individuals with significant disabilities, it is difficult to operate remote control helicopters, airplanes, and cars because they move too fast for the individual to control. In addition, the controls are often small and difficult to manipulate. Helium filled devices float through the air at a slower speed that gives the user time to visualize the shark and successfully make changes in direction without crashing.

The commercially available shark remote control was adapted for 1/8” switch input to control direction up, down, left and right.

Step 1: Materials

· Inflatable shark, clown fish or angry bird (available on amazon, ebay, and other web sources)

· (12) 1-5/8” drywall or wood screws

· 3/4” pre-finished plywood cut to the following size

- Base -10” X 8 1/4” (we used 3/4” for the base to add weight for stability with our more

active users)

· 1/2” pre-finished plywood cut to the following sizes:

- Top- 4” X 7 1/4”

- Sides -(2pieces) 4” X 2 1/8”

- Back - 6 1/4” X 2 1/8”

· 1/8” thick piece of plastic or wood

- Front - 6 3/4” X 2 1/4”

· (4) 7” pieces of red wire

· (4) 6” pieces of black wire

· (1) 3” piece of black wire

· 1”x 1” piece of sticky back Velcro (male and female)

· Angle Brace -To mount the remote control at an angle for improved wireless communication with the shark

* We bent a piece of kydex plastic or you could cut a 4” piece of 2X4 at a 45 degree angle

· Soldering equipment

· (4) 1/8” mono panel mount audio jacks. Ex: www.radioshack.com part# 274-251

· heat shrink tube or electrical tape

Step 2:

Take the controller for the flying shark and remove the screws to reveal the circuit board. Cut 5 notches in the case using a utility knife or file The wires will feed through these notches once re-assembled.

Step 3:

Solder one of the 7” red wires to the back side of each of the 4 switches. A total of (4) red wires will be soldered. See picture for reference. Label each wire up, down, left, right to save time later.

Step 4:

Solder the 3” black wire to the ground terminal.

Run the (4) red wires and (1) black wire through the notches created in Step 1 and close the controller back up.

Step 5:

Slide the heat shrink tube over the black wire now outside of the controller. Solder the (4) 6” black wires to the one 3” black wire. After you have soldered them together, slide the heat shrink tubing over the union you just soldered and heat the tubing to shrink tight. If you don't have heat shrink tubing, you could also use electrical tape and cover the exposed wire.

Step 6:

  1. Pre drill (4) holes in Part E. In these pre drilled holes you are going to insert the (4) 1/8” mono panel mount audio jacks.
  2. Solder one red wire to one terminal on each jack.
  3. Solder the (4) remaining black (ground) wires to the other terminal of the mono jacks.
  4. Label each port with the labels on the wires you made earlier.

Step 7:

On 7 1/4” side of Top, cut a 1/4” deep 1/8” wide grove 1/4” in from the edge. Cut the same groves in Sides. Notch out a little spot on the bottom of Back for the wires to go through.

Step 8:

Assemble sides to back. Do not attach the top yet.

Step 9:

Insert the mono jack panel into the groves on the sides and back piece assembled in Step 9. Run the wires through the groove in the Back.

Attach the sides and back to the base as shown. Leave space for the controller.

Step 10:

Build the angle bracket (for improved wireless communication with the shark) using plastic or wood and attach to the base. Velcro the controller to the angle bracket.

Step 11:

Attach the top with the remaining wood screws.

Step 12:

Plug in switches and PLAY !!!!!

Step 13:



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