Fabric MicroSwitch Controller
The aim of this project is to create a fabric based microswitch controller used in Speech and language therapy sessions with children who have Special Needs. The microswitch controller is designed to allow the user to press any of the four fabric cushions until the sound of the corresponding image plays. This design provides the user with both a visual and tactile experience when interacting with the microswitch controller.
The unit displays a mixture of images and fabric based cushions that when pressed, will create a sound that corresponds to each image. The cushions are linked to a programmed sound file that is accessed from an SD card. When any of the cushions are pressed, a sound will play through the accompanying speaker. An Arduino device contains the code which reads the inputs from the cushions, sets the input conditions for the cushion signals as well as powers the entire circuit. Once a cushion is pressed, a sound plays through the speaker. Images assist the user to determine which cushion plays which sound. The tactile fabric cushions and the clear images are to assist children and adults who have Intellectual disabilities and problems with non-verbal communication skills. Microswitch controllers are common tools in Speech and Language therapy as a means of basic communication between the therapist and user. A fabric based microswitch controller adds an innovative and personal touch for every user.
The Microswitch controller allowed users to press any of the cushions and instantly hear the corresponding sound shown on the above images. The sounds are set to play for roughly 5-7 seconds each time pressed. An SD card and removable images allow the microswitch to change the sounds and images to cater for different results and individuals.