Lidija Grozdanic

Students Build $150 Braille Robot to Help Combat Illiteracy Among India's Visually Impaired

by , 05/12/14

Project Mudra, Braille display, Braille robot teacher, device for visually impaired, India visually impaired, social design, design for the blind, Raspberry Pi, Google Speech API, student design Braille, India technology, affordable technology

Two 20-year old students in India are working on a device that will help combat illiteracy among the visually impaired on the Indian subcontinent. Spotted over at Fast Co.DesignProject Mudra is an affordable Braille dicta-teacher that offers an alternative to the expensive Braille displays out there-most of which come at a steep price of about $4,000. The team is currently working on a prototype and hopes to find nonprofit partners to make the product available for distribution.



Project Mudra, Braille display, Braille robot teacher, device for visually impaired, India visually impaired, social design, design for the blind, Raspberry Pi, Google Speech API, student design Braille, India technology, affordable technology

Students Sanskriti Dawle and Aman Srivastava of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Goa, India, developed their $150 Braille Robot during a workshop last September and decided to combine Braille and software called Raspberry Pi to create an easy-to-use display. It is a palm-sized box with six pegs which, when attached to a Raspberry Pi, move up and down. This determines words and characters read aloud through a headphone jack.

Related: The OrCam is a “Google Glass”- Like Device That Aids the Visually Impaired

The device has two modes-the first one lets the user dictate a letter or a number through a headset, the voice is sent to Google’s speech API for identification, and the pins then raise for a Braille character. In the second mode, a set of characters are recited through the audio output while moving the pins accordingly. The device can be made at an affordable price of $150, which means nearly 8 million visually impaired people living in India can have access to technology that allows them to learn the alphabet.

+ Project Mudra

Via Fast Co.Design

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