i-Drive Loonz Game
Seating and mobility clinicians and ATPs know that the first step toward making a child successful at power wheelchair operation is usually getting Mom and Dad on board. While multiple studies have shown that independent mobility is crucial for social, emotional, physical and cognitive development in infants and toddlers, anxious parents often worry about putting their little ones into power chairs that weigh hundreds of pounds — meaning that an assessment can be doomed before it begins.
Stealth Products’ new Loonz video game offers a new, family-friendly approach. Operated via Stealth’s i-Drive alternative driving controls system, Loonz — starring an elephant named Tiki in his hot air balloon — evaluates a child’s ability to use electronics controls without needing to sit the child in a power chair. Loonz can be operated using a standard joystick, as well as a number of alternative driving controls, including a head array, sip and puff, or mini joystick. As the child moves through the levels of Loonz to gather the game’s “coins,” therapists and ATPs can get feedback showing how efficiently the child is using the driving control. Loonz is a free, downloadable app that can be used to assess power chair readiness or to teach power chair skills before a child actually gets into that power chair.