[AI] sketching device for blinds.

prateek aggarwal prateekagarwal99 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 6 09:15:29 EDT 2008


Sketching device for the blinds.


Imagining a fluffy cloud in the sky and a happy sun rising from within
two mountains does not need one to be visually-abled. And now
realising that vision
on canvas has also become a possibility for the visually-impaired.

Pragnya Bhatt and her husband Dilip, have collectively put together an
innovative sketching device for the blind. It was initially conceived
as a way to
let their visually-impaired son, Nikunj, express himself freely on
canvas. Now, it's been developed as a device that can be used by all
visually-impaired
children.

 The most fascinating aspect of this device is the way it works.
Explains Bhatt, "This sketching device consists of a drawing surface
(a board made from
a hook, a loop of nylon fabric or velcro strips) and a specially
designed sketching pen with a thick thread inside it. So, simply by
holding the pen against
the velcro slate, one can start drawing different figures, free form
sketches, alphabets in any language, graphical symbols and even
numericals.

The drawing is made by the thread clinging on to the velcro surface.
The same can be erased simply by pulling out the thread from the
surface of the slate,
making it very convenient for a visually-impaired person to reuse this device."

 A sketching device for the blind may not warrant as the most
earth-shattering invention, given the existing products in its league
available in the market.
How does this device, then, score above them? Bhatt says, "Presently,
Braille is used worldwide by the blind for reading and writing script
characters,
but it does not support drawing.

This device is said to provide a 'drawing stimulus' to foster
creativity, while serving as a learning aid as well. Everyone must
have the right to express
themselves creatively.

This sketching pen device, being the first of its kind
internationally, has a remarkable feature of 'draw as you think'
compared to available tactile devices
where 'embossing' of the graphical entities is carried out."

 If giving one the freedom to sink into one's imagination and create
visual poetry wasn't already a noble deed, Bhatt ensures this device
is low-cost and
easy to manufacture. Presently being incubated by IIM Ahmedabad, Bhatt
has encouraged the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, to upgrade
the present
model.

Bhatt explains, "This will serve as an educational aid for allowing
the blind to learn graphics, sketches, alphabets and  for enhancing
learning skills
for subjects like mathematics, geometry, geography etc."

with regards
prateek agarwal.
Cell: +9 1 9 9 2 8 3 4 1 1 9 7
E-mails:
Prateekagarwal99 at gmail.com
Cooldood_prateek at yahoo.com




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