Eyedrivomatic is a unique approach to wheelchair driving and control. Like other alternative control methods (head arrays, sip and puff etc), it will never be as accurate as traditional hand control. However, when faced with the alternative of sitting in the same spot all day, it is still incredibly liberating. We consider Eyedrivomatic an addition to carer or assistant control rather than a replacement.
Before you purchase or build a system, please read this page.
Although, as the some of our videos illustrate, Eyedrivomatic is capable of being used outdoors, we recommend that it is used strictly indoors. The main reason for suggesting this is due to the limitations of eyegaze cameras. There are no eyegaze systems that we are aware of that will reliably work in direct sunlight, and most systems will struggle in overcast conditions. Most eyegaze systems use infrared light to detect the eye orientation and in some cases, even head orientation. There is typically too much ambient infra-red light outdoors for the eyegaze system to properly work.
Eyedrivomatic has several safety features to prevent unwanted motion if eyegaze control is lost. However, you could still find yourself temporarily stranded if you turn the wheelchair so that the sun shines directly into the eyegaze camera. Additionally, it may be difficult to execute an emergency stop if already in motion.
One of the biggest advantages of Eyedrivomatic is its ability to fit on most wheelchairs. The electric hand will fit on most wheelchair controllers, however for full functionality, it is important that the controller be able to accept external switches or buddy buttons to change the wheelchair mode and turn the wheelchair on/off. The connections for these switches are standard 3.5 mm ‘headphone style’ sockets.
Although these sockets are not required for Eyedrivomatic to drive the wheelchair, without them Eyedrivomatic will not be able to change modes or turn the wheelchair on/off, which will significantly reduce the benefits of the system and could potentially be hazardous.
Eyedrivomatic was originally intended to be an eye controlled system and most systems are being used in that manner, but other input methods are possible.
You will need a Windows based, wheelchair mounted eyegaze system with a spare USB port. If you haven’t got one, here are a couple of useful links.
or contact the very helpful people at
Eyegaze systems can be expensive but eyegaze cameras are getting cheaper. Tobii makes all in one systems and standalone cameras such as the 4C that can be attached to any Windows laptop or tablet. So, a relatively low-cost system could be achieved by using a modern Windows based tablet with an eyegaze camera placed under the screen. If you do decide to go down this route, don’t forget to consider suitable wheelchair mounting, as you cannot simply use it on your lap.
Please note, eyegaze cameras are very different from webcams. Eyedrivomatic will not work with a webcam!
Other Input Methods
Intrinsically Eyedrivomatic isn’t solely an eye controlled system. In fact, any mouse input will work. The reason it is advertised as an eye controlled system is because if a wheelchair user has sufficient strength and control to use a mouse or mouse alternative, they’re likely to be able to use a wheelchair joystick, thus negating the need for Eyedrivomatic. But hey, maybe we’re wrong! If you are able to use mouse control but can’t drive your wheelchair, Eyedrivomatic is for you too.