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2010 Design of Medical Devices Conference Abstracts

Design of a Wearable Fingertip Haptic Braille Device OPEN ACCESS

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohammad Saadeh, Mohamed Trabia, Yantao Shen, Sami Fadali

 University of Nevada, Reno, NV

J. Med. Devices 4(2), 027524 (Aug 10, 2010) (1 page) doi:10.1115/1.3443233 History: Published August 10, 2010

Abstract

Existing technologies and devices have facilitated the interaction of the blind or visually impaired (BVI) with their surroundings. However, reading remains an area where the potential of these technologies is not fully utilized. This work presents preliminary studies for the design of a finger-wearable E-Braille device that will allow the BVI to read electronic documents as they would read any document in Braille. The proposed device is wearable on a single finger on of the distal and middle phalanges (dorsal side). The main elements of the device are electrotactile display and force sensor. The electrotactile display is an electric board containing a matrix of electrodes that sends current to the fingertip for stimulating the touch feeling of a particular Braille character. By sending a sequence of Braille characters to this board, information can be sent to the user of the device through the generated electrotactile feeling. The force sensor is used in a feedback control loop to maintain steady contact pressure between the fingertip and the display board throughout the reading process. The entire finger-wearable E-Braille tactile display device is composed of a housing that can be customized to individual users, a miniature dc motor, mechanical components, and main elements. The initial testing of the proposed device is underway. Preliminary results indicate that the device can provide tactile sensation similar to that of reading a Braille document. The initial assessment of the device usability is underway.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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