Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
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"Serving individuals with special needs through research and innovation in affordable assistive technologies"
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RESEARCH

STUDENT PROJECT

Tactile Graphics Software Tool
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.

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Snapshot of the software
Braille Tutor
Objective: Design a Braille tutor that provides a set of rich games for learning language along with Braille
Introduction: Braille is essentially a script that is universally used by visually impaired for reading and writing. Traditionally stylus and paper along with a Braille slate are used for reading and writing in Braille. An embedded device that integrates learning of language vocabulary with Braille script can effectively replicate the learning paradigms developed for the sighted. In this project an innovative Braille tutor has been developed that can be used for teaching/learning of words and their spellings in multiple languages using the Braille script. Braille keyboard as well as the normal computer keyboard can be used as input while both voice output as well Braille output (using RBC) would be available to the learners. The project would be demonstrated using simple games but provides a platform for developing many innovative as well as entertaining 1-player/2-player word games.

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Functional Diagram of Braille Tutor
CAD for Tactile Graphics
Objective: Automated Mould Making for High Quality Tactile Diagrams
Visually impaired are usually provided with text material in Braille, but the pictures,diagrams, graphs and maps which come along with the text material are often removed or only very briefly described.One efficient way to produce tactile graphics for those purposes is ‘thermo forming’ method in which raised curves and surfaces are generated on thermoform sheets using manual moulds. These moulds have poor accuracy and time consuming to make. The proposed solution is preparing high quality moulds using 3D printers with Fused Deposition Modelling technique. These specifically designed moulds are then used to imprint tactile graphics on special sheets (called Braillon sheets) using vacuum forming technique. This methodfacilitates the inclusion of diagrams in Braille books in a cost effective manner and is also suitable for mass production. It will benefit all visually challenged students specially the economically backward ones.
3D Moulds
Seat Locator
Objective: Design an embedded solution that would enable visually impaired to locate their assigned seats in an aircraft or a chair car.
Imagine entering a cinema and locating your pre-assigned seats after the lights have been switched off! Unfortunately, millions of visually impaired persons face the same problem every day when they enter an aircraft or a chair car. We present the design of a cell-phone based mobility system for visually impaired people that can help them to locate their designated seats inside public transport and to navigate independently without any external sighted assistance. Our solution requires minimal additional infrastructure as it is based on passive tags and low cost RFID reader add-on to the mobile.
Functional Diagram of Seat Locator
Object Locator
Objective: An embedded solution that would enable blind people to locate their objects.
Introduction: Finding a lost/misplaced object is a tough task for everyone and it is still tougher for blind or visually impaired people who have little knowledge about their surroundings. In this project we present an innovative solution to this problem. We have developed an android based mobile application that would be installed in users phone and communicates with the TAG(which is attached to the object be located) via bluetooth. The application is voice enabled as well as based on simple directional swipes. A user can register a tag, associate a “sound byte” index referring to the object with a tag, search and locate an object using a buzzer sound. An innovative feature allows safety of the object through “locking” in position and an alert can be generated in case of any motion.
Discriptive daigram of Object Locator
Next Generation ETA
Taking the works of Smart Cane further, these two students of CS dept., Saurabh Runwal and Harween Kaur are building the next generation Electronic Travel Aid (ETA). The current device is successfully able to warn the user about an imminent obstacle and the user can then take appropriate steps to avoid it.The next generation Smart Cane will be an aid that would equip the users with much more awareness about their environment.

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Proposed Functionality of Next Generation ETA
eSpeak Module
Objective: Design an embedded version of e-speak - text to speech synthesizer An embedded version of text to speech synthesizer can interface to a number of devices to produce voice output in the chosen language. This device accepts a character string through a Bluetooth interface and produces speech output. Many innovative applications could include translation support for tourists in locations/situations without online data connectivity
Lab Vision Prototype
A significant challenge faced by visually impaired school students is lab work. The inability to work independently in a science lab is a major setback, and is one of the factors that leads to dissuasion from pursuing science subjects in higher grades altogether. The Labvision device hopes to enable visually impaired students to function independently in high school physics and chemistry labs: recording measurements, collecting data, and analyzing results just as a sighted student would do.

Lab-Vision Prototype