Switch Adapting a Remote Control Toy

John Schimmel, 12/01/2013

Choosing a toy
step 2 of 9

A toy train in the original box

You will need a toy that has a simple operation. You can ask to test the toy in the store, but keep in mind you want a push button operation or simple joystick control.

The toy train we'll be using here has a simple 2 button interface:1 button to go forward, another button to go in reverse with a slight turn. Perfect for practicing your locomotive K-turns.

The remote control can be adapted to add a switch interface which would enable switch users to control the toy with their head, feet, eye blinks or any standard accessibility switch.

Side note - adapting a remote control toy is actually easier than modifying a self contained toy (like Tickle-Me-Elmo) because the controller is usually very hackable and self contained toys have to be put back together in a very precise way. So if you're on the fence about which toy to hack, a cheap remote control car can go a long way.

Amazon List of Hackable Toys

Here's a list of toys we've compiled over the years that are fun and easy to modify, http://www.amazon.com/lm/RVUIMKWKKARYG/ref=cm_pdp_lm_title_1

 

Important - Battery Operated Toys Only!!

For switch adaptation safety only purchase and hack battery operated toys.

Toys that plug into the wall via a wallwort are probably converting AC electricity to DC but AC is very dangerous. That said, as you become more experienced with electronics and circuits AC devices can be controlled but we will not discuss those here.