John Schimmel      

Single Switch PS3 Controller

Spring 2009

Control the Sony PS3 console from your computer, this project provides an access method if your hands are not able to use a standard PS3 controller. If you can control a computer mouse (head-mouse or eye-gaze) you can play the PS3.

The story

Steven lives in NYC and has duchenne muscular dystrophy. I met him through a friend and colleague in New York. Steven can move his index finger to trigger a switch that controls driving his wheelchair and other assistive technology devices. For computer access he has a reflective sticker on his baseball cap that is tracked by a infrared capturing webcam and moves the mouse cursor around the screen, his index finger 'clicks' the cursor. He asked Holly, his occupational therapist, if there were any options for him to play the PS3 again, unfortunately at the time there were hacks but nothing for a single switch access.

In the Designing for One class Steven participated as a client, his project extended over the semester and was finished late in Spring 2009.

The process

There are two components that make this adaptation possible.

1)The Arduino has a PIC bitwacker USB host that gets plugged into the PS3 console and emulates a PS3 controller. The Arduino gets plugged into the computer's USB port and communicates with the Java application. (Tymm Twillman helped research and later develop the PIC/Arduino hybrid solution. Many thanks to him.)

2) Processing/Java software displays and manages the controller elements. The software talks serially to the Arduino which relays the button and joystick commands accessed from the software. The software's interface has movable buttons, latching joysticks and the ability to overlap buttons to have a multi-press interface.

Steven uses his laptop in front of his TV with PS3 connected. He is using his head mouse and finger switch to operate the software. After several iterations of software Steven asked if there was anyway to get the software interface to be displayed on the TV, I asked for an old video mixer from a friend. Now the laptop's screen was chroma-keyed over the PS3 screen and Steven can toggle the display of PS3 buttons as needed and looks only at the TV when playing the PS3.



Collaborators
Holly Cohen
Steven
Tymm Twillman

Built with