Undergraduate groups produce useful phone apps and devices for folks with disabilities.
Lindsay, a 23-year-old Somerville resident and research worker at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear health facility, may be a low lover. She incorporates a Keurig brewer, that permits her to create a good kind of hot and cold beverages at the bit of a button. However, Lindsay, United Nations agency is blind, has bother mistreatment the machine’s touch-screen controls.
Last fall, as a part of vi.S196 (Principles and apply of helpful Technology), undergraduates Marcus Lowe and Victoria Sun teamed up with Lindsay in a shot to develop a bit of helpful technology that may facilitate her use the numerous totally different options of her kitchen appliance.
The goal of PPAT is for tiny groups of scholars to figure with shoppers within the Cambridge space to develop helpful technology — a tool, piece of apparatus, mobile application or different answer — that helps the shopper live a lot of severally. The course is light-emitting diode by engineering science and computing academician Seth Teller and co-taught by EECS professor Rob Miller, each principal investigators in MIT’s computing and computer science workplace.
“The category evolved naturally from my lab’s analysis efforts to develop varied styles of helpful technology for folks with disabilities, like self-driving wheelchairs for folks with MS, ALS, brain or funiculus injuries, and wearable machine vision systems for blind and visually impaired folks,” Teller says. “Given academician Miller’s concentrate on human-computer interaction, and therefore the indisputable fact that each of our labs attract UROPs (Undergraduate analysis Opportunities Program at MIT) fascinated by the human facet of technology, it absolutely was a natural step to form associate undergrad subject that specialize in this space.”
At the shut of the autumn term, PPAT students given the end result of their efforts to fellow classmates et al., demonstrating a spread of latest helpful technologies: accessible touch- associated speech-based nurse necessitate a shopper with MS; increased caregiver access and E911 capability for a shopper with ALS; accessible pill management of an adjustable bed for a shopper with MS; and a moving bracelet to inform a blind and hard-of-hearing shopper of incoming calls on her movable.
During the ultimate shows on Dec. 5, Lowe and Sun given their technology that helps Lindsay take full advantage of her low machine: They created a vision-based bit screen interpretation system for Lindsay’s iPhone. As a frequent user of helpful technologies like VoiceOver, a screen reader engineered into varied Apple devices, Lindsay was comfy mistreatment the iPhone. Thus, the scholars developed a system that would add bike with the technology Lindsay already uses on her phone.
The system Lowe and Sun developed options a stationary stand, wherever Lindsay will secure her iPhone on top of the bit screen that controls her kitchen appliance. to create a cup of low, her phone takes an image of the bit screen and asks Lindsay what she would love to drink. the appliance then provides Lindsay oral steering regarding a way to use the bit screen to create precisely the form of drink she needs. employing a grid created with skinny strips of laminate to guide her fingers, Lindsay will navigate the screen, pressing the right buttons. the appliance then reviews and confirms her choice.
“They did a good job,” Lindsay says of Lowe and Sun’s work. “One of the upsides to their answer is that the ability to verify the present state of the kitchen appliance screen. currently i do know and might make sure what reasonably drink i’m reaching to create.”
Lowe and Sun place specific effort into facultative Lindsay to watch the operation of the helpful technology system, by planning the program to repeat relevant commands pro re nata. Eventually, Lindsay will, if she desires, learn the sequences and forgo mistreatment the helpful technology altogether.
For their project, undergraduates Priya Saha and flower Newlin worked with Haben, a intermediate pupil at Harvard grad school United Nations agency is blind and part hearing impaired. Like Lindsay, Haben uses plenty of helpful technology, as well as VoiceOver. Haben asked Saha and Newlin for help in developing a way for notifying her of incoming calls and text messages through a discreet moving bracelet. As she cannot hear or see her iPhone ringing, Haben’s strategy was to see her phone each hour for calls and texts, which means she incomprehensible regarding ninety p.c of all incoming calls.
Saha and Newlin developed a custom metal bracelet, that resembles a bit of jewellery and homes alittle motor that vibrates for four seconds once notifying Haben of incoming calls. The team used a Bluetooth to attach the iPhone with the bracelet’s motor, and designed a motor driver specifically to perform because the bracelet’s notification system.
While the team had bother with notifying Haben of incoming text messages as a result of restrictions on accessing Apple’s electronic communication center, they estimate that the speed of success for notification of incoming calls mistreatment their system is between ninety and 100%.
Teller and Miller say they were affected with Saha and Newlin’s work, specifically their resourcefulness in resolution technical aspects of Haben’s downside, and the way well they have to be compelled to grasp their user, that resulted during a specialised product that suited Haben’s desires.