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The in­ter­ac­tive braille tu­tor de­vice by Ideas Un­lim­ited com­prises a tu­tor unit and a re­mote unit. the tu­tor unit speaks out al­pha­bets be­fore ar­rang­ing the dots when the user presses but­tons on the re­mote unit. the quiz mode al­lows the students to test the

Electronics For You - - INNOVATION - C G

When­ever sci­ence and hu­man­ity come to­gether, the world re­joices. This time it’s a de­vice de­vel­oped by Na­gen­dra Setty, CEO of Ideas Un­lim­ited. Setty, with his team, has de­vel­oped a de­vice which as­sists the vis­ually chal­lenged in learn­ing the Braille sys­tem of read­ing DnG wUiWing. TKe SURGuFW, RI­fiFiDOOy called the in­ter­ac­tive braille tu­tor with speech as­sist ca­pa­bil­ity, elim­i­nates the need for a teacher to be with the students at all times.

TKe fiUVW TueVWiRn WKDW FRPeV WR our mind is “What made them think of de­vel­op­ing such a de­vice? Are the teach­ers not do­ing a good enough job or is it more of a ra­tio prob­lem?”

SeWWy FODUi­fieV, “,W’V PRUe RI WKe lat­ter. In In­dia, the num­ber of Braille teach­ers at­tend­ing to in­di­vid­ual students is quite bad. We can’t ex­pect them to be able to at­tend to all of them but there was one school that I vis­ited where 5M students were be­ing at­tended to by a sin­gle teacher. That’s not help­ing any­one in any way. On the con­trary, it’s ac­tu­ally quite detri­men­tal to the teach­ing process. It was only a mat­ter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ such a de­vice would be de­signed and I’m just thank­ful we could do it.”

The coven­tional sys­tem

Con­ven­tional braille teach­ing in In­dia still re­lies on the use of a wooden plate that has six dips rep­re­sent­ing a Braille cell and a glass mar­ble that has to be placed inside the dips to form a Braille char­ac­ter. Usu­ally, the chil­dren drop WKe PDUEOeV Rn WKe flRRU DnG WKeUeIRUe a lot of time is spent in re­cov­er­ing the mar­bles in the class­room.

Un­like con­ven­tional class­room teach­ing where one teacher can teach many students, Braille teach­ing is a NWN sys­tem as the chil­dren are blind and have to tune to the sense of touch to learn Braille. au­r­ing the ini­tial stages of learn­ing, the teacher has to ar­range dots for each child in the class, then take it to each child and ver­bally speak out what the ar­rang­ment means. This has to be re­peated ev­ery day un­til the chil­dren be­come skilled in the script. At the end of the day, the teach­ers, most of whom are blind them­selves, are ex­hausted due to both ver­bal and ac­tiv­ity over­load.

The in­ter­ac­tive tu­tor

The in­ter­ac­tive braille tu­tor de­vice com­prises a braille tu­tor unit and a re­mote unit. The braille tu­tor unit has six slots, each of which houses a wooden bead. The beads come out in var­i­ous com­bi­na­tions to rep­re­sent a par­tic­u­lar let­ter of the English al­pha­bet in Braille. There are a cou­ple of fea­tures that make learn­ing fun. The de­vice in­ter­acts by way of speech, which re­duces the monotony of not hav­ing a hu­man teacher. The quiz mode al­lows the students to test their learn­ing.

The prod­uct demon­strated by the team teaches Kan­nada and English along with num­bers and sym­bols, us­ing Kan­nada as the medium of in­struc­tion. It has been de­signed such that the Braille char­ac­ter data as well as the digi­tised speech data is stored on an Sa mem­ory card inside the unit. By chang­ing the con­tent of the Sa mem­ory card, one can eas­ily cus­tomise the prod­uct to pro­vide train­ing in dif­fer­ent me­dia of in­struc­tions and teach dif­fer­ent (even for­eign) lan­guages.

Re­mote unit

Con­ven­tional braille teach­ing re­lies on the use of a wooden plate that has six dips rep­re­sent­ing a Braille cell and a glass mar­ble that has to be placed in the dips to form a Braille char­ac­ter

Braille tu­tor unit

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