Designing a small portable hand warmer for disabled wheelchair user

Hi there

I have a son who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy and he uses an electric wheelchair as his way of moving around. During summers there little to no problem maneuvering the joystick due to the warmer weather. But during winter, when the temperature drops, he has a lot of problems using his hand to steer the joystick.

He can’t use gloves or anything else due to his muscle weakness - he is too weak to be able to use his hand with gloves on so to speak. As his independence is really important I wanted to build him some kind of hand warmer that allows him to maneuver his joystick just as good as he can during summer.

I was thinking of building something that encapsulates his hand & joystick platform - some sort of dome - and have a small PTC element and a fan regulated by a sensor so that you can chose the targeted temperature and also save power. All driven by 24V.

His wheelchair is powered by two 12V 85ah batteries and I believe that it wouldn’t be a problem for them to keep this up since it isn’t many hours per day that he is out. Perhaps 1-2 hours per day, during school breaks. And the dome-thingy would work as a wind shield and keep the heated air inside. Of course, there will be some heat loss , but I don’t believe it will be an issue.

Is there anyone here who could guide me through the arduino jungle and perhaps guide me to which parts that might work here.

I want it to be as small, but efficient, as possible due to the limited size there is on an electric wheelchair.

I have found a similar item I am searching for, but it cost 900 USD for that heating fan - which is kinda insane.

See attached pictures for ideas/concept.

Many thanks in advance!

Apparently I wasn’t able to attach my picture. Not sure why.

Motorcyclists have a similar problem when it's cold. You can get hand covers that encapsulate the clutch and throttle. They're not gloves but your hand inside is protected from cold to some extent. You can get electrically heated grips too - I wonder if you could heat the joystick.

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t help as he needs something transparent so that he can see his monitor that is just next to the joystick.

I guess you're aiming for something like movis-hand-warmer

24 V heater fans can be found at Amazon, etc. eg. Constant-Temperature-Heating-Element
These things will probably require a regulator (assuming it works at all :slight_smile: )

Maybe this can help start the creative process?

jjhdnd:
24 V heater fans can be found at Amazon, etc. eg. Constant-Temperature-Heating-Element
These things will probably require a regulator (assuming it works at all :slight_smile: )

Maybe use this as a temperature controller. There is a 24V version. No arduino development required and it's a PID controller with builtin displays.