As luck would have it Mac attended a classmates birthday party where the ‘order of the day’ was a water pistol fight.
I knew someday Mac would absolutely NEED a water pistol, truth be told he should have had one years ago… he’s 11 for crying out loud.
It’s not that I haven’t been looking… it’s just finding the perfect combination of battery powered pistol, ease of switch adapting, wheelchair “mountability” and being able to actually buy it when I found it didn’t come together until late last year.
We were traveling overseas and so I did some “retail research” for those few elusive, but sought after, items.
And. There. It. Was.
Courtesy of quick trip into Cerritos Walmart, CA – it looked to be perfect option.
And. It. Is.
Mac gave as good as he got today at the party, he was drenched but delighted. The kids were stoked with his ‘water pistol weapon of choice’, quite a few of these guys were in his class for the “macifications” two years ago so were also interested in how the gun actually worked and was tweaked.
SO WHAT IS IT… AND WHAT DID WE DO WITH IT?
The Fuze Cyclone Water Blaster from FUZE UK.
Designed for mounting on your bike handlebars it was a great choice for a wheelchair because:
- it already had mounting options,
- it already had the three key operational functions assigned to buttons,
- it was battery operated.
Mac’s Pa undertook ‘hacking duties’ once again and got it switch adapted it for him. He used three plugs coming out from the handlebar attachment. Mac used a head activated switch for the fire option, his left and right options were attached to a joystick but most often maneuvered by his “wheelchair pusher”.
It was a little bit tricky to get the button component apart as it had been glued closed, but, once open and adapted it had the option to screw it back together… a nice surprise.
It would be great if the Fuze team considered the option to build in some disability access as standard – they really be world leaders if they went down that path. I generally joke that switch access for toys costs three cents at build stage, three dollars if you do it yourself or three hundred dollars if you get a disability organisation involved, sadly, it’s not really a joke.
Interestingly, Fuze have quite a few products that could intersect with the youth wheelchair market. The fact they don’t cost a fortune is a welcome relief from the usual slamming people with disabilities get around prices of products they need.
One thing to note with this particular product is many kids will find the standard buttons suitable for use without any hacking required.
Check out the FUZE UK range on the above link, there are some cool wheel lights and even a speaker and mount for your phone or media device which just might suit some wheelchairs out there.