Xbox Adaptive Controller ‘Freedom Wing’ Turns Power Wheelchairs into a Controller
AbleGamers has revealed a new Xbox Adaptive Controller adaptor which allows players to use their power wheelchairs as a controller.
The capabilities from the Xbox Adaptive Controller never seem to cease as a new video from AbleGamers introduces a new third-party add-on named Freedom Wing. This new adapter allows the user to turn their power wheelchair into a video game controller through the use of 9-pin port.
AbleGamers, one of the teams who helped bring the Xbox Adaptive Controller, has teamed up with ATMakers to create the Freedom Wing Adapter. The process of turning a wheelchair into a controller means that the player can control the game with controls that they’re already familiar with as shown in the video below.
In the video, AbleGamers COO Steve Spohn is shown using his power wheelchair to operate an Octane in Rocket League. To operate he’s simply using the joystick he’d use to move his wheelchair around. To make it even cooler, Spohn explains to The Verge that a 9-pin connector is standard for most wheelchair joysticks, meaning that the adaptor should work with many power wheelchairs on the market.
The video also features Bill Binko, founder of ATMakers informing us how the device works and how it’s built. He explains that the company kept the circuit board simple to allow other creators the ability to make them for other people in their communities. He also explains that he reached out to Orlando based Team 5816 Gra-V Robotics who agreed to take the adaptor on as one of their projects. In addition, they have a team now working on the device and will be able to make them for future users.
According to Binko, the cost of creating the circuit board is roughly $7 while the cost including the other materials could end up being around about $35. AbleGamers are the ones giving out the Freedom Wing —which are available now— and those interested can apply for a grant through the website. Additionally, instructions on how to create these will be eventually be published.
A few notes:
AbleGamers grants are already giving these out. They are available immediately
We’ll be working with @at_makers to publish the instructions for how to make these
Freedom Wing will allow play on other platforms/PC
Steve & Bill like pizza, if you see them at a show
— AbleGamers Charity (@AbleGamers) January 31, 2020
The Xbox Adaptive Controller was released in 2018 with two large buttons along with 19 jacks available for various joysticks, switches, and buttons and is a way of enabling disabled players the ease and comfort of playing their favourite video games. While it’s built specifically for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, people have modified it to enable it to work with the Nintendo Switch as an unofficial tool. It should also be supported by Google Stadia.