A 22-year-old University of Kansas student designed what he calls the "Ultramouse" to help his paralyzed uncle use a computer.
And now Henry Clever is looking at using his invention to help others with mobility issues.
In 2002, Henry Evans suffered a stroke that left him a quadriplegic. He was chief financial officer for a computer-related company in the Silicon Valley before his stroke left him unable to work.
The stroke did not affect his mind.
He had used a computer mouse that relied on his eye movements, but it had difficulties especially when it would come to seeing the computer.
"It had to be two feet in front of his face," Clever said. "So it would get in front of him and obstruct his angle of view."
So Evans turned to his nephew, who shared his first name, for help.
"He knew what he wanted. He just needed someone to complete the project for him. He gave me the project and I did it," Clever said.
So he set to work designing and fitting sensors to a computer interface. Evans was able to use his nephew's first prototype.
He uses the mouse to surf the Internet and keep up with news.
"It feels very rewarding. His caregiver was able to set it up on his bed and he was able to use it right away, and it worked," Clever explained.
Instead of using your hands, you use your head. Once you get use to it, the device works just like a regular computer mouse. Evans apparently still uses his eye-movement system for emailing and other tasks.
Clever is not going to rest on his laurels. He would like to make the Ultramouse work even faster, and hopes to have a new version to send soon.
"I think it's going to need more experimentation to get a perfect product," he said.
He can already adjust the device for people with different levels of mobility. Despite his success, he doesn't plan to seek a patent.
His focus is to help others facing health problems that affect their lives.
"My objective with this product was not to make a device so I could make a bunch of money. I just wanted to help my uncle," he said.
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