Digital Wheel Art - 2008
digital wheel art

"Digital Wheel Art is a rare and uplifting example of how the tools of technology and art can be combined in new ways to help unlock hidden creative talents, providing those with physical challenges, who are so often left behind, a dynamic and powerful new vehicle for self-expression." - Kathleen S. Wilson (VP, Creative Director, Viacom Interactive Services)



Younghyun Chung (email: younghyun.chung@gmail.com)


Digital Wheel Art is an interactive system that helps individuals with disabilities express themselves artistically. A user drives own wheelchair in a room while the system follows the movement of wheelchair by detecting infrared signals, and the system projects the lines onto screen in real-time. It also gives general audiences an opportunity to explore and rethink disabilities through art.


Assistive Technology, Media Art, Physical Computing, Nintendo Wiimote, Art Therapy, Art Education

User tests with 16-year-old boy

Movie Clip

User tests with 16-year-old boy who has pediatric movement disorders at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center. He only could move his head to control his power wheelchair. (same video in YouTube)

"Digital Wheel Art is the best example I've seen in a long time of how technology can enable and empower personal and artistic expression. It proves, in a truly elegant and emotional way, that physical limitation need not be a barrier to creative expression." - Nancy Hechinger (Adjunct Professor, New York University)



Young people with physical challenges, Art therapist, General audience who want to experience disabilities

User Scenario

1. watch a 1~2 min project video documentation
2. move a wheelchair to draw paintings

A general audience version at ITP Show that people can experience disabilities.


Power wheelchair (normal wheelchair for general audience), IR LED, Nintendo Wii Remote, ZigBee, C++/OpenGL programming

More Movie Clip

Playback- The drawings can be saved. The saved drawing data include the actual brushstrokes of the dynamic drawing process so it is expected that we can have a profound understanding of creative moments. (same video in YouTube)

Although he knew how he could use the drawing tool, he asked me many questions about it to understand the details and created innovative user method that I didn’t expected. (same video in YouTube)


In this project, I successfully provided alternate methods of self-expression for people with physical disabilities. Because I designed the system while considering a variety of disabilities and locations so that a wider range of users can easily use it. Since it is based on computer technology, new functions can be added easily. Also, the replay features of this project allow for profound understandings about the creative process of art in contrast to just seeing the final products. In the end, I have transformed a wheelchair from a practical tool that assists disabled people and that at times is also a symbol of stigma into a tool for self-expression and art-making.


Low-Cost Multi-point Interactive Whiteboards Using the Wiimote, Johnny Lee

Additional info

• Images: User Test, ITP Show, Work Process
• Presented at ITP Thesis Week 2008
• Exhibited at ITP Spring Show 2008, An Evening at Maker Faire, Society for Disabilitiy Studies Conference, Maker Faire Austin 2008, Sony Wonder Lab Technology
• Blogged about on TED, MAKE Magazine 1, MAKE Magazine 2, Gizmodo, Wiinewsdaily, Destructoid, Digital Experience, Nintendo Wii Fanboy, Power Unlimited (Dutch), iD (Chinese)