Toy Teaches Kids Braille in Fun, Simple, and Affordable Way
BecDot is a toy that also doubles as a learning tool. Not only is it fun to play with but it also teaches braille. Braille is an essential skill for children with visual impairments to have so that they can keep up with their peers—both socially and academically.
BecDot came about because a father was not satisfied with the braille tools that were currently available for his daughter, so he decided to get to work and design his own!
One of the things holding back devices like this is the complexity and cost of braille displays. If you think what’s behind an LCD is complicated, imagine if every pixel needed to actually move up and down independently and withstand frequent handling. The braille equivalents of e-readers can cost thousands to display a sentence or two at a time — but of course kids don’t need that.
Unsatisfied with the available options, Jake decided to engineer his own. He created a simple Scotch yoke mechanism that can control up to three dots at a time, meaning two of them can create a braille letter. It’s all controlled by an Arduino Uno. Simple means cheap, and the other parts are far from expensive; he told me that his bill of materials right now is around $50, and he could probably get it below $30.
Read more about how the BecDot was made in TechCrunch: http://dky.bz/2G6r8aS