Russian teen invents hands-free ‘Sandal Mouse’ for people with upper limb disabilities
Since 2015, Sergey Halyavin, a Russian high-school student, was obsessed with the idea of creating a mouse that can be controlled via feet to allow disabled people use computers. One of his schoolmates, who is unable to use computer due to a musculoskeletal condition, fueled his desperation. In 2016, he has successfully created a hands-free mouse, which is basically a sandal that incorporates usual ‘mouse control board’ and a LED ribbon outside. Also, a scroller is fitted at the front of the sandal. He has tested it for a couple of weeks and found it feasible enough when the user gets used to it.
The idea of a device that would help work on the computer with one’s feet came to me in 2015,
People with upper limb disabilities face a common problem in using computers: they can’t use traditional mouse. There have been attempts to provide solution to this problem. Most viable is to develop feet-controlled mouse like the Toe Mouse concept or the Slipper Mouse with programmable pedal. Engineers had also developed a bluetooth mouse the ‘GlassOuse’ that operates through user’s head movements.
User also uses his mouth to bite that equals a click. We had also wrote about the Tongue-Interface-Communication (TiC) device- a mouthguard-like device which acts as a mouse for desktop/laptop input. Samsung also deserves a mention for its attempt to create an eye mouse EYECAN.
Credit behind Sergey’s invention also goes to his school’s inclusive education practices and special programs for children with intellectual disabilities and students with musculoskeletal disorders.
We also had to solder LED ‘Ribbons’ so that the person for whom the device is designed, who also have vision problems, could easily find the mouse even in the dark, and themouse could be used as night light just as well, “ said Sergey’s teacher,
It was a tough task to materialize what Sergey had conceived. Finding right material was a challenge because Surgey wanted to be sure that sandal doesn’t cause sweating. So, he ended up with cork beech.