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ANUBHAV
A REAL FRIEND AT DARK

Self Initiated Project

ABOUT

Say bye to complications

A Powerful versatile tool for the visually impaired students that would enable them to read their languages and also do mathematical calculations efficiently.  A one of the kind invention, Anubhav replaces the conventional dual tools: Braille Slate and Taylor Board with a single tool that shall let the students read as they write like any other person with vision.

Introduction

RESEARCH

Looking beyond habituations

One tool that the visually impaired are proud of using is the Braille, a language meant only for them. It has almost attained saturation in terms of design and there has been no notable change over the past few years in the refinement of learning tools which are specific to the visually impaired.  

As per statistics, 48.5% of the people have disability in seeing among the different types of disabilities faced by people in India. Similarly as per WHO, visual impairment is the second most common disability in the world after depression and it is prevailing mainly in developing countries.

Research was mainly conducted at the Kanpur Andh Vidyalaya (Blind School). During the 5-6 months of research in the school, observations were made in various day to day activities of the kids - navigating, playing, reading and writing, eating, memorising things, interacting with people with vision and learning new things. Among this the most habituated challenge for the kids were the usage of conventional tool for reading and writing. It was also difficult to carry such bulky Braille devices.

Research

EXISTING PRODUCT TEARDOWN

Braille Slate

The Braille Slate uses the concept of embossed printing and has been the tool for blind to write without assistance. Braille consists of arrangements of dots that make up letters of the alphabet, numbers and symbols. The basic Braille symbol is called the Braille cell and consists of six dots arranged in the formation of a rectangle, three dots high and two across. The braille cells are evenly spaced and all symbols, letters, and numbers consist of one or more of these six dots.  To avoid smudging, embossing is done on a thick paper which makes it bulkier.

Product Teardown

Braille Slate

Stylus, a metal pointed device that punches dots into the paper. It has a small handle to grip it firmly and  comfortably.

Back slate with depression of cells of 6 dots each

Raised dots at the end of  rows on the front slate denotes the line numbers

Rectangular windows on the front slate, fit over each 6 dots on the back slate

A heavy paper is placed by sandwiching it between the two slates. With the help of stylus, tactile dots are made by pushing the pointed end of the stylus into the paper over the depressions. The paper bulges on its reverse side forming dots. 

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EXISTING PRODUCT TEARDOWN

Taylor Board

Taylor Slate or board is used to do mathematical calculations like arithmetic and algebraic functions. It consists of a frame measuring 11 by 17 inches having set of openings in the shape of eight pointed star and different types of pegs with different orientation to represent various numbers, symbols and operators. It also has a tray to hold these pegs. The pegs are slightly embossed, which helps in identification of the orientation.

The slate has only 25 rows and 25 columns, which limits the calculation length. Hence, one cannot do long calculations. It is also a slow and a tedious job.

Taylor Slate

The metals board has an  array of holes which are 8 edged star shaped and they hold the pegs.

The angle of insertion determines the numerical value. With the bar side up, the positions run 1 through 8 and flipping the pegs over the values 9 and 0, with the remainder of the positions determining the operation.

The pegs which are generally one inch long, have a bar shape at one end and two conical projections at other end as per the various arithmetical denotions.

Orientation of Pegs

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ANALYSIS

Design Insights

Braille Slate:

  • Longer Learning time

  • Write from right to left and read from left to right

  • Cannot read and write at the same time - without flipping the page.

  • Cannot refit the page once it is removed and cannot continue the writing.

Taylor Board

  • Doesn't get faster with time

  • Misplace pegs in different holes

  • Heavy and bulky

  • Often lose the pegs

ANALYSIS

Design Insights

Braille Slate

  • Longer Learning time

  • Write from right to left and read from left to right

  • Cannot read and write at the same time without flipping the page. Hence, making it difficult to do mathematical calculations

  • Cannot refit the page once it is removed and cannot continue the writing.

Taylor Board

  • Doesn't get faster with time as Braille slate

  • Misplace pegs in different holes

  • Heavy and bulky

  • Often lose the pegs

  • Taylor board can only be used for doing mathematical calculation as a calculator.

Insights

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To design a smart automated medical instrument for the ecosystem of pathology labs, that shall enhance the body fluid analysis by providing the pathologists and lab technicians with standardised, traceable and reliable data using the technology of  artificial Intelligence.

PROBLEM BRIEF

Our focus in this project

Design a solution for visually challenged children that will help them to read and write simultaneously in the same direction and to perform mathematical calculations on the same device, which has a comparable price as the devices of same kind.

Project Brief

IDEAS

Deep Diving

It is always challenging to move over the conventional ways and learn a new method altogether, especially for the blind students. So the bigger challenge is to design a device that makes the life of the visually impaired students much easier and enable them to learn as quickly as a kid with a normal vision. A device that is affordable to the developing as well as underdeveloped countries.

 

Following Ideations were done :

Braille Slate 

  •  Using the same side of paper for reading and writing

  • Raised dots instead of depression

  • Hollow tube stylus instead of pin type stylus

 

Taylor Slate

  • No more carrying a separate slate for your mathematical calculations but everything embedded in a single device

  • Able to read the numbers already written

Ideation

Two in One Stylus

  • 6 spring loaded writing tubes with internals pins

  • Special Slate

  • Hand held

Slate without erasing

  • Simple to read and write at same time

  • Vertical and horizontal sliding mechanism which has a rail with slots at predefined intervals

Slate with self erasing mechanism

  • Simple to read and write at same time

  • Vertical and horizontal sliding mechanism which has a rail with slots at predefined intervals

  • Tube type stylus

Braille slate with single line stencil

  • Simple to read and write at same time

  • Complicated sliding mechanism shifted to shifting stencil

  • Tube type stylus

Hover on the hotspot to view the concept details

INITIAL CONCEPTS

4 concepts

Multiple iterations were done, with focus to avoid flipping the page to read and also to read as one writes. Based on different parameters like usability, features, cost, competence with existing product etc the four concepts were rated and overall the 3rd and 4th concept were chosen for prototyping. 

IDEAS

Prototypes

Concept 3 and Concept 4 were prototyped. 

Rapid prototyping processes like Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Laser Cutting & etching and Abrasive Water Jet machining were used. 

Initial Prototype & Testing

TESTING and REFINEMENT

Usability Testing

Prototypes of concept 3 and concept 4 were tested with help of students of Kanpur Blind School. For two weeks the students were given multiple tasks such as writing poems, stories, speed writing in english & hindi and mathematical calculations,

Concept 4

  • Simplicity & ease of use

  • Children picked up writing speed really fast in 2 weeks

  • Confident

  • Doing mathematics was faster 

  • Happy with the stylus

Concept  3 

  • Speed was hampered

  • Suggested to have line numbers in both the sides

  • Preferred bigger dots

  • Found the unidirectional stencil difficult to use