Saturday Update: Wheelchair Hacking and Maths

Hello and welcome to another Burf Update, it’s odd doing it on a Saturday night but there is quite a lot to report (if I can remember it all)

I have gone back to Khan Academy and have redone 3rd Grade (lol), I am now 46% through 4th Grade and plan to do all the Maths Khan have to offer 🙂 I already have over 500,000 points on the site. The aim is to at least understand some A-level maths by mid-next year.

Wheelchair Hacking

So finally I have started to try and work out how to hack the joystick on the Electric wheelchair. I have not succeeded yet after many hours but I have learned so much. If I was brave enough to cut the wires I could really see what was going on inside. I believe it works using a microchip that detects magnetic forces (A Youtube video explained it) however he was trying to reuse the stick, not mimic it to do remote driving.

I got to learn quite a bit and even used my oscilloscope 🙂 However, I have decided that it would be easier to create something that controlled the joystick via servos so that I do not need to break anything. I have started learning Autodesk Fusion 360 to design it and then 3D print the new mechanism.

I have bought a new tool that allows me to measure stuff precisely so that I can design it properly

I have also built a little pillar drill to allow me to drill stuff out (a random thing I found in the garage)

Hoverboard goes boom

So I had a spare hoverboard to take apart as I wanted to see if I could control it with an Arduino. To do this I needed to soldier a connector onto it. Sadly though I unplugged it, the capacitors must have still had energy in them as they made a rather large spark and blow the board. I am now trying out a Scooter motor controller off eBay 🙂

It feels like I have done more electronics in the last 5 days than in the last 5 months which is rather exciting 🙂


It’s clearer than it’s been for a long time, I have a lot of LEGO to sort but making good progress on this.

Application of Robotic Tools Course

Completed, not a great course but at least it’s finished


I have started playing with ROS (Robotics Operating System), just a bit of a refresher as I plan to move to ROS 2.

I hope to either have a hacked Wheelchair or a hacked hoverboard working for the next update 🙂

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