I am thinking of a project proposal for my robotics course and we are required to make one that has a potential application on physical therapy or medical fields. One thing that came across my mind is a motorized wheelchair that moves when a stress ball control is squeezed by the user. As an electronics novice, I wonder if I could integrate a sensor circuit with a rubber ball so that when it is pressed, perhaps by a stroke patient, it triggers some driver circuit. is this possible? if so, how?
Of course it is possible. You can measure the squeezing force for example with an force sensitive resistor (FSR sensor) (see Adafruit example) or even built your own (fabric) pressure sensor (see www.kobakant.at). All you need is a microcontroller with an ADC. For example every Arduino board has this capability. In addition you can use a motor shield/board or built your own circuit to control the motor system.