6Dot Braille Label Maker
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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: As part of a class project, a team of MIT students created a prototype design of a Braille labeler for individuals with visual impairments (blind) to label objects they use. The 6dot Braille Label Maker is a small, easily portable device which can produce all possible Braille characters (including commonly used two-character contractions). The device can be easily loaded and operated by touch. While still under development the estimated cost is $200. Existing devices are costly and often very heavy. The MIT team led by Karina Pikhart developed the battery-operated 6dot device. 6dot uses standard Dymo label tape, and has a built-in microprocessor that can store up to 16 characters in case the user types faster than the device and emboss the tape. There are six buttons across the top representing each of the six dots that make up a Braille character. As each character is embossed the device makes sounds providing some auditory feedback to the user that the device is working. The user then activates a built-in blade to cut the label off. Continued modifications include: 1) adding another blade that will score the end of the tape to make it easier to peel off the backing and 2) simplifying the system for loading and unloading a roll of tape to be easier to do by touch. AUTHOR: Jen Hirsch. TITLE: MIT students design portable Braille label maker. WEBSITE: MIT Media Relations. REF: http://web.mit.edu/press/2009/braille-0821.html.