Author Topic: MakeyMakey Research project for clients with neuromuscular disorders  (Read 3943 times)

eql

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Hi Everyone,
I am completing my MSc in Occupational Therapy with a research project examining the potential uses of makey makey in comparison to currently available assistive tech interface devices. I am trying to use the MM to make mouse access for clients who have degenerative neuromuscular disorders such as ALS, muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy.

I have run into an issue with skin conductivity. My participants have very dry skin (for various reasons) and I cannot get the skin to become reliably conductive. It improves with creme but only until it fully absorbs. My participants are not able to exert force and have very little range of movement (in millimeters in most cases). I have played with the voltages to require the smallest amount of current to complete the circuit. Does anyone have any ideas to combat this?  My next step is looking like fully conductive gloves/fabric that the ground can be attached to, but this is not ideal and kind of defeats a big appeal of the MM device.

Thoughts anyone? I can try using foil tape which is grounded on one side and linked on the other to complete the circuit, but that is again not ideal. I'd really like to get the skin conductivity working properly. Even when I get the conduction going, there are parts of the skin that don't respond even with lotion.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Lisa

johnschimmel

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Hi Lisa,

I understand the touchability issue well and have seen a few people just not able to trigger the Makeymakey.

Does your client currently use any other kind of accessibilty switch, a mouth or whisker switch for example? If so, you could connect the alligator clips to the two metal connects on the male plug. When pressed it will trigger the 'touch' needed.

If no switch, have you tried aluminum foil finger rings or foil thimbles? Foil touching foil is a sure win over dry skin.

Another idea, haven't tried this personally but what if you wired up a wet sponge that would be touched.  Setup: 1 hand has foil wristband, then the sponge would be on the other alligator clip. User touched sponge. '

Good luck, would be interested to hear about your final project results. Post pics!


eql

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Thanks,
Yes we have tried a few of those, but attaching the current switches to a MM isnt feasible for the client. The sponge idea is certainly interesting.. perhaps instead of water, using a conductive gel might be another option. We had thought already of the foil-foil idea (I described it a little different in the first post, but we are talking about the same thing).
I will let you know how everything goes! Should be done end of June/early July.
Thanks,
Lisa

jesuxp

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Hi lisa,
if you didn't already come across it, search "conductive foam", "conductive thread" and "conductive paint" in the internet, perhaps one of them helps.
Best wishes
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 05:22:53 AM by jesuxp »