A customised joystick for wheelchair driving

Les has been known to the service for years and needs specially adapted joysticks to drive his wheelchair. Les had been using a mushroom shaped joystick but found that his muscle spasms caused his grip to tighten and he couldn’t release it quickly when he needed to. To try and get over this problem, we tried a cone shaped joystick. Les could release this easily but it was harder for him to grasp quickly.
Crossing the road at a pelican crossing was a real problem because you don’t get a green man for long so you need to be able to get going quickly. One of our Clinical Scientists, Zoe, came up with the idea of a bowl shaped joystick which meant Les could get his hand in quickly to start driving but could also remove his hand easily to stop driving. As you can see he still had enough control for accurate manoeuvring.
Michael, our Mechanical Technologist, was able to make and attach this and after a few tweaks, spray painting and altering the position, here is the end result.