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Automatic Ticket Cutter for Movie Theatre Worker with Cerebral Palsy

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A vocational counselor referred a client to rehabilitation engineering. She worked at a movie theater taking tickets from customers. Due to cerebral palsy, she had fine motor impairments in both hands with the left having better function than the right. She was unable to tear the tickets manually in a timely manner.


Interior of Automatic Ticket Cutter
Interior of Automatic Ticket Cutter
Exterior of Automatic Ticket Cutter
Exterior of Automatic Ticket Cutter

A motorized rechargeable ticket cutter was developed. A small, durable, locking case served as the housing (12"x7"x7.5"). A sealed 12v 7.5 Ah rechargeable battery was used for the power supply (3"x6"x4", 7 lbs) and was secured in the box with a Velcro strap. A rotary cutter assembly was used (Hecon Rotary Jumbo Cutter Part #0685020 12v, ). This is a self-sharpening cutter with enclosed motor and was mounted to the top of the box underneath a slot using the threaded inserts in the cutter to secure it to the box. A beveled guide was made from ABS plastic on the slot of the box to make inserting tickets easier. A photo sensor was mounted to the bottom of the cutter with double stick tape and a small plastic block for spacing. The photo sensor, battery, and the cutter are connected to a relay on a small circuit board mounted on the underside of the top of the box. Additional features include a power switch with LED indicator light, and fuse protection.

When the user inserts the ticket, the photo sensor is activated at the proper depth and triggers the cutter. The tickets are cut along the perforations where they would typically be torn. The cutter is located so that the cut portion of the ticket falls into the empty portion of the box (away from the battery). The device is recharged by plugging a 12v transformer into a jack on the outside of the box. The device will cut tickets for an entire shift on one charge. It is stored in the manager´┐Żs office when not in use for charging and for protection.


Tom Rybak, RE

Dept of Rehab Services

1600 Roseneath Rd., Suite-D

Richmond, VA