RAMPS A Wheelchair DJ Interface and more, Maker Faire
We interview John Schimmel at Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA. John is adjunct professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and teacher of Developing Assistive Technology.
RAMPS is a wheelchair DJ interface - the left wheel fades between tracks while the right wheel scratches the music. Users bring their existing wheelchair skills to the show, RAMPS detects the speed and direction of each wheel. The wheelchair becomes an interface to music, games and new computer interactions.
From John's Blog, "The idea for Ramps came from an 18 year old boy with cerebral palsy who called himself E-Money (spelled E$). He is part of the hip-hop culture, rapping with the other boys or to the nurses as they went to therapy. The boys had amazing wheelchair skills, swarming through the hallways in packs without incident. I wanted to develop something that could use the existing wheelchair skills. I developed Ramps with several classmates at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. In the Developing Assistive Technology class we paired with an occupational therapist who worked at NYU’s Rusk Medical Center in pediatrics. She introduced us to E$ and was a big help in getting access to patients for testing."