London (IANS): A British mechanical engineering student has designed a low-cost digital letter board that allows victims of paralysis to communicate without the need of an interpreter.
With the help of a software, the device detects eye blinks or finger movements and converts the movements into sentences before reading them aloud.
“I have been able to create a prototype at a total cost of 164 pounds (Rs 16,360),” said Robert Green from Loughborough University in a statement.
“I hope to significantly improve the lives of people suffering from degenerative conditions by giving a voice to those who are unable to speak and who have very limited body movement,” Green noted.
The low-cost system uses an optical reflectance sensor, a pair of 3D cinema glasses and two resistors. The finger movement detection circuit comprises of a simple switch, which in the case of the prototype is an up cycled doorbell to provide a large, sturdy surface to press on.
The sensor is mounted onto the frame of the glasses close to the user’s eyes and emits an infrared signal at the white of the user’s eye.
The software then analyses the signal to detect whether or not a change has taken place. It is at this point that the user is able to scroll and select letters from a digital letter board to form sentences which are then read aloud by the computer, aided by a predictive text function.