FLOWING ROBOTIC SURFACE: HAPTIC IMAGING DEVICE FOR BLIND SCIENTISTS
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn the past, astronomers have worked to involve visually impaired people in their research by converting data to sound or 3D printed models of astronomical objects. These are laudable efforts but they are slow processes and cannot present holistic 3D data. This project presents a three-dimensional surface that changes its shape to make data accessible through one’s sense of touch. The team designed and constructed a working prototype that consists of a 20x20 array of independently-actuated pins, a continuous surface overlaid on top of the pins, and an electronic control system. The team implemented image processing algorithms to reduce input data to the limited system resolution. This device is capable of displaying data, such as heat maps, laser beam profiles and even the astonishing black hole photo, in 3D. Blind scientists can use this device for feedback when analyzing 3D data and images. Pairing with the Arizona State School for the Deaf and the Blind and a visually-impaired teammate will allow for reliable user feedback and future advancements for this device.
Degree ProgramBiomedical Engineering