Sip & Puff Pitching Machine: Extreme Makeover

Of all the projects I developed for Extreme Makeover Home Edition, this is by far my favorite. I built (along with Davis Small) a baseball pitching machine controlled by a sip & puff controller.

You might not have encountered a sip & puff controller before. For quadraplegics–who cannot control their arms or legs–they’re a lifeline. The controller consists of a long straw connected to a sensor that measures relative air pressure. By alternately “sipping” (breathing in) and “puffing” (breathing out) through the straw, the operator can control other equipment (like a motorized wheelchair).

This episode of EMHE featured a former minor league baseball pitcher who suffered spinal cord injury as a result of a car crash.