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Engineering students create 'No Pull, No Lift' controller prototype for AbleGamers

Students of Canada's UPEI partnered with the country's AbleGamers chapter to produce a minimal-movement controller for disabled gamers.

Image: Jane Robertson/CBC

As the AbleGamers charity organization continues to work to aid disabled players in being part of gaming as a whole, a part of that continues to be the interfaces by which we game. AbleGamers has partnered with some young engineering minds to produce a new controller to address this. Students from University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) have prototyped a “No Pull, No Lift” controller with AbleGamers to address motion limitation and make gaming interfaces more accessible than ever.

AbleGamers shared word of its collaboration with UPEI engineering students via its official Twitter, as well as via CBC. Reportedly AbleGamers tapped a group of students to design a controller that requires as little holding, movement, or pulling as possible. In turn, the student group, comprised of fifth years Graham Ching and Muhanad Hilaneh and fourth years Ryan Unuigboje and Denaj Miller created a “No Pull, No Lift” controller prototype that can be operated on a flat surface with around 10 switches that operate various controller functions with minimal movement. It operates as one big joystick with a puck inside that requires only the slightest handling to operate various the various button functions.

Mark Barlet, executive director of AbleGamers U.S., was happy to see the progress on the controller so far and applauded the students efforts on a controller built for folks whose disabilities include a limited range of motion.

“If you're a person whose disability has a physical manifestation, oftentimes it's the controllers themselves that we need to change,” Barlet said. “A standard controller … requires a lot of dexterity that many people just don't have, and so we create new custom controllers to bridge that gap so you can get into a game and really enjoy it.”

Controller Accessibility AbleGamers UPEI
It would appear that the UPEI "No Lift, No Pull" controller prototype can be used in tandem with other controllers. (Image by Jane Robertson/CBC)

The students themselves are happy to be working on the project as well. It has yet to be tested by disabled players, but they are optimistic that the controller’s minimal movement and functionality should allow for players with a wider variety of physical situations to be able to operate it. If it works as intended, the students have also strived to create the controller from parts cheap enough to make it as affordably accessible as it is physically. Total cost is expected to be $52 (CAD) in comparison to the $70 and $75 USD price tags currently on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 controllers respectively.

Once again AbleGamers stands at the forefront of accessible gaming and it looks like the charity is bringing enterprising young minds along for the ride. Hopefully, UPEI’s “No Pull, No Lift” prototype will continue to advance and we’ll see it commercially available in the near future.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      May 23, 2022 3:56 PM

      It is impressive how engineer students create stuff from early studying time. Their work that enables disabled gamers to have fun together with others is outstanding. I am also a student at the programming faculty, and I am an expert in my domain due to the EduBirdie service where I buy thesis papers. I have to say that everything I know and my real success at university, concerning my only A grades and my ideal essays and thesis for the final assignment, is due to my studies and materials got on to get deeper in the programming area. I am interested in what sources are using these students who invented this controller prototype because they seem to be real geniuses.

    • reply
      September 8, 2022 6:34 AM

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