Unity Wheelchair Controller

Unity Wheelchair Controller

Exploring a space in a different body can drastically change the way we perceive the world. This is a free pre-configured Wheelchair Controller for Unity3D.

Earlier this year in his audio essay On “Walking Sims”, Dylan Schneider highlighted how the nature of exploring 3D physical spaces was not unlike an eye moving over a canvas. The essay talks about how our controllers for exploring these spaces are usually flawlessly able-bodied, neglecting a lot of unexamined ways to discover spaces in bodies different from our own, citing the example of a wheelchair.

Here’s a demo that runs in modern browsers.

Download the .UnityPackage here.

To use the controller just drop the WheelchairController prefab into your scene.

Being able-bodied myself, this isn’t designed to be an accurate simulation, but might be useful as a starting point in that respect.

The default speed and size of the wheelchair controller is set from some researched averages I found.

I’d love to hear your feedback, send me through an email or leave a comment here.

Tested in 5.1.2p1 (but it probably works in 4 as well).

The Unity Wheelchair Controller is public domain and you’re free to use and modify it as you see fit (although you are a super nice person if you credit me in your work!).

16 thoughts on “Unity Wheelchair Controller”

  1. Hi Alex, I’m Paolo from Italy! i’m working on Unity3d and wheelchairs for my master’s thesis; your controller is very interesting but, can i suggest you one thing?… what about changing the angle of view in relation to the slope of the terrain? i think it will be even more realistic!

  2. Dear Alexander Ocias,
    My name is Abdulaziz and I am from Saudi Arabia i’m working on Unity3d and wheelchairs for my term paper. Can I use your script?
    Best Wishes,

  3. Hi Alex,

    This is really helpful. i am workinjg with architecture students on inclusive design and uysing VR to prototype. what is the texture package you use for your build here? Its very clear.

  4. Hi Alex,
    Your wheelchair controller is the best. I was looking for a
    just this for my final year project. I’m facing one difficulty though, my project is a VR enabled wheelchair simulator, and i need to simulate the environment using a joystick, so please can you guide me as to how I can do the it ?
    Thanks a lot!

  5. Hi Ricardo, the demo is currently only available in WebGL format, there isn’t a stand-alone version. But feel free to download the UnityPackage and experiment with it yourself! 🙂

  6. Hi alexandre, I was talking about the demo project xD, thanks for your awesome work!! do you have any tutorial on youtube?

  7. Hi, I am wondering do you still have the file that I can modify a little it is for my masters` thesis. I have downloaded the file but unable to run it in unity so i can modify it.

  8. Hi Alex,

    This is awesome. I’m doing my dissertation on creating an accurate wheelchair simulator using consumer-based products.

    I am a full time wheelchair user and noticed this seems more liek a motorised wheelchair sim. Any thoughts on how to make it recreate the feeling of a manual wheelchair?

    Cheers 🙂

    P.S sorry if this post comes out twice, I got distracted by your main site mini games and couldn’t remember whether I pressed ‘Post Comment’ haha

  9. Hi Samuel, there’s a lot of areas to focus on, so it is worth thinking about what the purpose is at the end of the day. That said, my view would be, from the perspective of accuracy, I’d start by decoupling the view from the wheelchair direction, then look how the velocity changes behave in real life, which would probably lead to putting together a motor script that has more complex bits between input and speed output, then after that consider how that same logic affects turning etc.
    Good luck with your dissertation! 🙂

  10. Hi Alex,

    This is so great, I plan to use this for my final project! I was wondering the best way to get in contact with you so that I can ask you some questions? I’m just having some trouble with getting the package to run properly in my scene. Thanks!

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