Dale Eley is your average 7-year-old kid who loves to play sports videogames, almost anything with basketball, football, or wrestling on the PlayStation 2.
Dale also struggles with triplegia, where he suffers from paralysis of three limbs, in particular his legs and right arm.
Dale loves videogames, but became frustrated when he struggled to use the remote.
Brad Eley, a 2012 mechanical engineering graduate, was inspired to design a remote controller that would help children like his brother Dale play videogames with more ease.
“Teamwork and time are what helped to come up with the design,” said Eley.
Eley worked with several other engineering students, who together helped to create a controller that helped Dale play his favorite videogames.
The creation of the device wasn’t easy. The group had to find a product that Dale was “comfortable using [and] that didn’t give [him] a lot of resistance,” Eley said.
The result was rewarding when they found a design that “would not only be fun for Dale to use, [but] that he could also use as a therapy device,” Eley said.
The console will work with the PlayStation 2 and should also work well with the Play Station 3, Eley said, as long as they get the correct adaptor for the design.
Jay Janney, a management and marketing professor, helped Eley get students together to develop a business plan.
Janney also worked with Mark Zimmerman, a junior marketing and design major and Cole Aston, a junior entrepreneurship and finance major, to come up with a plan to market the product.
Both students were thrilled with the idea of helping with such a project, Zimmerman said it was “… interesting, because [he] would be working with video games while helping a disabled child.”
Currently, Janney, Aston and Zimmerman, along with other business students, are working to market the product with Sony.
Having Sony approve the item will increase its marketability, Janney said.
“With Sony’s approval, we can go ahead and get it manufactured, market it and sell it,” Aston said.
So far, Sony has not given an answer on the design, but Janney is confident Sony will come through, as Sony has licensed other products designed by outside designers.
Because Eley has done much of the design work along with his team of engineers, Janney says, this greatly decreases the overall cost of the product for Sony.
Marketing aside, the team said on of the most rewarding aspects of the product was how Dale loved the prototype.
“He was loving the controller and everyone had smiles on,” Aston said.
Dale came to test out the new controller design in Kettering Labs.
Aston said he “want[s] the most rewarding element now to be everyone that needs this controller to have access to it.”