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STUDENT R&D : Edutactile

EDUTACTILE

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Edutactile is a cross-platform Java-based software which facilitates the creation of tactile graphics specialized for scientific and mathematical content. It automatically handles layout and formatting thus relieving special educators and enabling them to concentrate on the content of the diagrams. During the development, feedback was taken from special educators as well as visually impaired students. Initial feedback has been positive regarding both the software as well as the quality of diagrams produced using it.

Motivation

Most of the similar devices which are currently available in the market, such as the Perkins SMART Brailler or the Next Generation Perkins Brailler, are either too expensive or suffer from other shortcomings such as the lack of interactive learning and no tactile output. The most comprehensive device is made by Humanware but it is too exorbitantly priced for it to be affordable to a majority of the consumers. Also, traditional methods of Braille tutoring such as the slate and stylus have some inherent drawbacks.

Key Features

Focus groups were formed during the design and development process of the system. Constant feedback was taken from users and special educators throughout to know their needs. Keeping these specifications in mind, three modules have been incorporated into the system.
  1. Image Converter Module - Automates the translation of a standard textbook figure into a tactile version conforming to guidelines with descriptions and accessible labeling
  2. Chemical Equations Module - Generates chemical equations with the help of a drag and drop library of commonly used chemical symbols
  3. Mathematical Functions Module - Provides entry, parsing and plotting of complex mathematical functions

Watch complete presentation at Prezi

Why Edutactile?

  1. Open-source and free compared to much more expensive alternatives
  2. Not tied to specific output method or product
  3. Easy to use with simple GUI
  4. Versatility of tactile diagrams

Awards/Honours

  1. ASSISTECH group paper on “Edutactile - A tool for rapid generation of accurate guideline-compliant tactile graphics for science and mathematics” selected for presentation/publication at ICCHP 2014 in Paris in July 2014
  2. 3rd Prize, Paper Presentation Event, TRYST 2014, IIT Delhi’s technical fest

Software Snapshots


Image conversion with texture
Chemical Reaction of Benzene and Bromine
Sin(x) and Cos(x) plotted on same graph
Maximum of two trignometry functions plotted