Need some brainstorming, possibly help

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Melody, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Melody

    Melody Guest

    Anyone have any clue how to make some kind of wheelchair mount for a camera?

    There's a local boy who was severely injured during a fall while he was
    photographing inside an abandoned building. He's become a quadriplegic but I
    believe he could use a hand held remote or something similar on an
    auto-focus camera and still have the ability to take pictures.

    The kid was only 17 when he fell, I can't fathom losing the ability to take
    pictures (much less all the other things he's lost the ability to do) for
    the rest of my life. Surely there's something that can be done, anyone have
    ideas?

    Thanks :)
     
    Melody, Oct 14, 2005
    #1
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  2. Melody

    Richard H. Guest

    That's a lousy deal, to say the least.

    Well, the mounting rig wouldn't be too difficult for someone with the
    right tools. A machine shop (welding, actually) would be the place to
    look for someone to build it. Possibly at a local high school or trade
    school. Students need projects; pursuade the shop teacher to give a
    student credit for the work. Then chrome plate the whole thing for
    aesthetics.

    Off-the-cuff, a small metal plate with a standard tripod thread screw
    and an e-clip to keep it from falling out. Welded steel tubing for the
    frame, with L-bends (or joints) to accommodate mounting on the chair.
    Some sort of clamp fitting on each side to attach to the chair's frame.
    Position so the eyepiece / viewing screen is front & center. Crude
    visual...

    -'-
    ==== ====
    || ||
    || ||
    {} {}

    A dSLR is likely to be out of the question unless he has head mobility
    to reach the eyepiece, and then zoom will be a frustration. A nice P&S
    with a large LCD screen may work better. You'll need one with long
    battery life and a long timeout, then you'll need some way for him to
    wake-up the camera (aka half-press), and manipulate the features if he's
    able. Again, a P&S offers the potential for electronically controlling
    things (esp. zoom).

    Maybe use gooseneck (flexible microphone stand) tubing so it can be
    easily repositioned or adapted to future chairs. Be sure it'll stay
    stiff with the camera mounted (easier with a tiny camera, and if 2 legs
    are still used).

    Mobility systems are a whole industry unto themselves, and I know there
    are some very specialized input devices out there (e.g., light-based
    keyboards). Especially with a P&S, the camera buttons could feasibly be
    wired to an external control module. Depending on his mobility, there
    may be an input device he can control that could be tailored to control
    external signals (camera buttons). I don't know the mobility industry,
    but if you go this route let me know. I do very small electronics as a
    hobby (stuff the size of a grain of sand).

    Best of luck,
    Richard
     
    Richard H., Oct 14, 2005
    #2
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  3. Melody

    Paul Furman Guest

    Maybe something more like a harmonica harness assuming he can move his
    head & torso around. A motor to raise and lower the camera out of the way.
     
    Paul Furman, Oct 14, 2005
    #3
  4. Melody

    PcB Guest

    <<He's become a quadriplegic but I believe he could use a hand held remote
    or something similar on an auto-focus camera and still have the ability to
    take pictures.
    Can't offer anything additional for mounting but with regard to tripping the
    shutter you might want to do something similar to the gear used for Kite
    Aerial Photography - there are a number of sites with information on setting
    up the rigs, you could maybe start at

    http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/kaptoc.html

    or

    http://www.bults.net/kapnet/index.php

    Alternatively (if he isn't able to trip the shutter) how about a camera with
    an interval timer? I have a Nikon Coolpix 3700 (sadly now discontinued)
    which I bought for this specific feature (actually I intend to eventually
    fasten it to a kite and get into KAP for use with my buggy and ATB). I know
    you can also buy or make these for other cameras (the links for KAP should
    help here).

    HTH & let us know how you get on.

    Paul

    --
    Paul ============}
    o o

    // Live fast, die old //
    PaulsPages and Galleries are at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pcbradley/
     
    PcB, Oct 14, 2005
    #4
  5. Melody

    Marvin Guest

    A google search (+camera +wheelchair +mount) turned up the device described at
    http://tinyurl.com/csl5s. There were many more hits, but I didn't go any further.
     
    Marvin, Oct 14, 2005
    #5
  6. Melody

    Melody Guest

    I never would have thought of asking a local high school/trade school to
    help. WONDERFUL idea, thanks Richard. Those are excellent, excellent
    suggestions. I'm going to start calling around next week. Thanks!!!!

    I think it'll make a world of difference to this kid if he can regain the
    independance to do something he loves, you know?
     
    Melody, Oct 14, 2005
    #6
  7. Melody

    Melody Guest

    I'm under the impression he has very minimal movement of his fingers on one
    hand and pretty much can't move anything else.
     
    Melody, Oct 14, 2005
    #7
  8. Melody

    Melody Guest

    Excellent information, thank you! I'm hoping I can kinda combine everyone's
    ideas and get something that will work. Thanks SO MUCH for the responses
    guys. Keep em coming :)
     
    Melody, Oct 14, 2005
    #8
  9. Melody

    Melody Guest

    further.

    Yeah, I did that exact search a few days ago. Cheapest one I could find was
    $795 (ouch, waaaay out of my price range and I'm guessing his family is
    paying medical bills and buying a wheelchair & such and probably can't quite
    afford it either). I did email the manufacturer to see if they would
    consider donating one but haven't heard back, and I'll go ahead & assume
    that anyone needing the wheelchair mount has an equally heartbreaking story
    so it probably won't phase them much.

    I just keep reading about this kid on a daily basis and I really want to do
    something.
     
    Melody, Oct 14, 2005
    #9
  10. Melody

    JME Guest

    JME, Oct 15, 2005
    #10

  11. When I first read you post I was thinking theatrical lighting supplies and
    then the last posters link brought me to this link from Manfrotto.
    http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/cache/offonce/pid/1801?livid=liv11

    I'll bet you that some careful scrutiny of theatrical lighting mounts,
    supports and clamps could yield an interesting and useful wheel chair mount
    for a standard tripod head.
     
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Oct 15, 2005
    #11
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