The project created by the Senior Design Project was a camera control system for a wheelchair, which was designed for our client, Shari Rose. The wheelchair holds a rotating platform that tilts and adjusts in size; this is the base where the camera is placed. The project was purposely designed to help any person with cerebral palsy or other diseases that limit the person to a wheelchair and limits their hand mobility, to use a camera.

Our client usually uses a Single Lens Reflex camera but due to limited use of her hands that she suffered from like most patients with her disability, she had a lot of difficulties whenever she attempted to use her camera. The task was to find a method of holding a camera for the client and for patients in general who suffer from the same disability, the goal was to make her be capable of aiming her camera, and snap photos, with limited use of the hands.

The client wanted a fairly large range of pitch movement, as it made photography more accessible from the chair. The angles of the mount were set to 45 degrees down and 70 degrees up. A complete pan of 360 was possible from the mount. Ms. Rose also requested provisions for quick detachment of the camera. In addition, the ability to move it from landscape to portrait orientation, amongst other modes of photography, is something that she requested and that the team thought made perfect sense. The device is compact and self-contained; it’s vital that it mounts easily and firmly to the wheelchair. And the weight of the camera and lens should be contained when it weights 720 grams.

The capability of selling such device depends on two aspects: ­­­

  1. The number of camera users that were confined to a wheelchair after their interest in photography was a part of their life or a career that they chose to themselves.
  2. People whom were already confined to their wheelchairs when their interest in photography was stimulated, but they felt that their wheelchair was a detriment to their abilities to participate in the hobby or the business of photography.

With the right amount of marketing, the target audience can and will feel that the product is not an attempt to make profit off of their disability but really it’s a product that will give them their ability to become photographers again, or create a new option for those who’ve always been confined to the chair but developed the interest later in life.­­­­­­­­­­

 Considering the market which will exist for both the general criteria stated above, and the interest in professional photography is on the rise, then it seems like a viable option to actually develop the product. The product, despite being a privilege rather than a right, could be covered by insurance and disability services.

Another market that could fit the product is that of mental health services and care. In a higher percentage than in normal cases, wheelchairs users experience a few mental disorders; depression and anxiety being two of the most major. Photography could be the medicine to these issues.