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T O P I C R E V I E W
Posted - 12/11/2019 : 11:37:11 AM I'm looking for a recommendation on a nearly turn-key device and windows-based software, to help a friend who has ALS. Requirement is, he needs to move his electric bed up and down using his eye-controlled Windows computer, and there is not a plug/port/software API I can use so I'm going the mechanical route (relays and solenoids controlled via USB, that will push the buttons).
I've done the custom route for my own home (built a stairway defroster using an Arduino and a high-current relay, controlled through Blynk) but this solution needs to be simpler and off-the-shelf/vendor-supported as much as possible.
The bed controller looks like a TV remote control with four buttons, so I'll use simple solenoids to push the buttons that control the bed. The bed adjustment does not travel far, so there's no risk of him getting hurt if the button/relay gets stuck, and he has people who check on him regularly. At the moment he has full control of his hands, but he is starting to use the "igaze" controller to get used to it for when the disease takes that away - it's basically an eye-reader tied to a Windows machine.
So, I'm looking for 1) software that will run on Windows and control a USB device. Any software is fine as long as it's Windows compatible. 2) a USB device controlled by the software, that can control four (or more) relays, that has opto-isoloators built in for each relay. Solid state relays are preferred since they're silent, but mechanical relays are fine.
I just want to plug in the USB device, install the Windows software that controls the relays, then I can plug the solenoids in and we'll be good to go. Thank you for any help you can provide!