THE JOURNEY BEGINS
With the idea of mechanical braille display on mind, as suggested by my close friend Abhijit, I approached Dr. Ted Moallem. He counter-proposed his idea of using ” haptic illusions” for the same. Under his guidance, I started PandaBraille, My first and long lasting love. At the beginning of the journey, we were a big team but soon got broken up into two teams. Aditya, Taranand, Yamini, Supreeta and Prithvi stayed with me, the most awesome team mates anyone could hope for. Each week, a target was set and we tried to meet it.
PandaBraille is an assistive refreshable and portable braille display with no moving parts, built of inexpensive electronics, which uses a simple circuitry and is based on electrocutaneous mechanism, creating the sensation of braille characters(haptic illusions).
Most of the assistive tools present in the market currently, designed for the people who have blindness are very costly, not easily repairable and even if available, are not easily accessible by them, the vast majority of which is economically weak. Apart from this, the number of books printed in braille is very limited.
The device uses the novel technology which employs electro-tactile stimulations to create perception of braille characters. The model is designed to target persons with blindness so that they can learn independently and to give them a new perspective in literacy. The missing sense of sight in them leads them to perceive the world in a different manner. This served as an inspiration to us to use haptics as a tool to help them interact with the environment.
Take a look at the first prototype developed!!