Extending from this thought process, although not this particular fork (for mains voltage motors) several very useful technologies for accessibility were discussed in another conversation. I’m condensing that here.
Given that hand motion can be easily used to trigger a motor (not necessarily 230VAC), two motors with perpendicular axes can be used, with sufficiently weighted flywheels, to counter the condition known as essential tremor. A device using such a design has already been built, and with some luck, I’ll be able to locate and display the descriptive video here. Ok, so I couldn’t find it, but I’ll try and upload it directly in another post.
It is fairly straightforward to feed a Braille translation of any text, using a smartphone (apps are readily available in the phone software stores). Which means the text could originate from a text conversation, or by text conversion from speech, or be tapped by somebody in direct conversation with the user, but who doesn’t know how to use sign language. While people with visual impairments might be able to hear a conversation within earshot, this is not so for the deafblind. Apart from visual and deafblind impaired persons, Braille (and, much simpler devices, Morse and TapToTalk) is also handy for persons with motor impairments, who cannot use ordinary screen displays and keyboards.
A set of low voltage terminals in a grid, or a grid of tiny solenoids, could be used to create a single character (or more) refreshable display worn as a glove or a wristband. Unlike a fingertip sensing display, which needs a large throw for the fingertip to sense the shape, the back of the hand, from the knuckles to the forearm, is much more sensitive. A lot of work has been done at NCBS Bengaluru for creating a touch pad for the tongue, which is the most sensitive accessible part of the body, but this might be beyond the capabilities of a tinkering project.
- A tactile keyboard, on the other hand, very useful for persons with fine motor impairments, might use regular gross hand movements as specific triggers for inputs to a screen displaying device. eLocutor, the screen display tool, was developed for a single switch (with 3 positions: on, off and hold). It could be reengineered for a modern phone.