IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Robbie Ivey is so much more than just a boy with muscular dystrophy, the but the disease has limited his movement. Being able to control his bed and other devices in his room with just his voice brings immediate comfort throughout the day.
"When I get sore and stuff in the middle of the night I can adjust and go right back asleep," said 18-year-old, Robbie Ivey.
Although the bed looks easy to move with just a voice, it took a lot of experimenting with the Amazon Echo, Wi-Fi and an old remote to create the high tech bed.
"The end result is this particular device that at the very top is the actual guts of the remote and then behind it is a micro controller, and some other components that allow the Amazon device to talk to the box and then in turn controls the bed," said Bill Weis, the creator of the voice activated bed.
But Bill didn’t stop there, he purchased more smart speakers to create a voice activated lighting system and whole entertainment center.
"It makes me be able to know what most people watch that I hear about on Netflix and it lets me be like a regular 18-year-old," said Ivey.
Although Bill said he is happy he created "band aid solutions" to make Robbie’s life easier, his work came after bed manufactures reported it would take over a year to produce and sell voice activated beds.
"It quite frankly haunts me that in today’s technology age that we don’t have better solutions," said Weis.
Both Bill and Robbie see the potential of voice activation in rooms nationwide.
"There are a lot of people with different disabilities whether it be wounded warriors or those with injuries and disease that all need a voice activation system for their bed," said Weis.
Bill is now personally talking to companies to encourage more work towards this technology.
"We will continue to work with those companies to try to speed up those solutions than what their schedule says," said Weis.