Eric LeGrand, uses the Adaptoys remote control car to play with his nephews. Photo courtesy of 360i
Two new toys are making it easier for people with spinal-cord injury or disease to play with their families.
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation announced the creation of Adaptoys, adapted versions of popular toys, in May.
Advertising agency 360i partnered with technology company Axios to create the initial Adaptoys prototypes.
One prototype is a remote control car powered by a headset that’s equipped with sip-and-puff technology. Using a straw, people can exhale to cause the car to accelerate or inhale to reverse. Motion sensors on the headset steer the car left or right based on the user’s head movement.
The other prototype is a voice-controlled pitching machine that throws a ball on the user’s command, tossing pop-ups, ground balls and strikes.
To bring accessible toys to more families nationwide, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, in partnership with 360i, has launched a crowdfunding campaign at adaptoys.org to raise funds to support the research, development and cover production costs for at least 100 adapted remote control cars.
The cars will be distributed to qualified recipients through a random lottery selection. The more successful the crowdfunding effort, the more toys will be produced and more families will be reached.
Former Rutgers University football player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed from the neck down during a game in 2010, illustrates the impact these toys can have for individuals living with paralysis in a short promotional film on adaptoys.org.
“I have never let paralysis slow me down,” says LeGrand. “However, I look at my nephews and it can be frustrating when they want to play ball and I can’t join the fun. With Adaptoys, I can fully participate with my family and create new memories with my nephews, so that they never feel as though their ‘Uncle E’ is sidelined at playtime.”
For more information and videos, visit adaptoys.org.