Creating a robotic page turner and reader for the visually impaired using tools from IPEVO, Lego, Amazon, and Google
For most of us, reading seems like a taken for granted skill that we often fail to appreciate. However, not everyone can have an easy time reading. People with visual impairments have difficulties reading and need specialized tools to help them. But more often than not, these tools are either too expensive or not easily available.
In light of this, IPEVO has been putting most of its designing and engineering effort into producing high quality, affordable document cameras that can double up as desktop CCTVs for the visually impaired. Hence, we are extremely honored when we know that our V4K document camera has been used in a project to create a low-cost robot for the visually impaired that can not only turn book pages but also read them!
In this project, the owner Keenan Johnson, an aerospace engineer, successfully built an Alexa voice-controlled, Lego robot that can read and turn book pages just by using relatively affordable items like Lego MindStorms, Alexa Dot, IPEVO V4K doc cam, and a laptop running Linux.
The body and arm of the robot were constructed with parts from the Lego MindStorms. When activated, the robot’s body will scrunch up a page for the arm to turn it, and the V4K doc cam will then scan the turned page. The scanned image will, in turn, be transmitted to the connected laptop for OCR into text. And this text will, subsequently, be read out by a connected Alexa Dot. Ta-da! There you have it, a page-turning and reading robot! See it in action in Keenan’s video below:
For the nuts and bolts of Keenan’s project, click here to read more.
On a side note, Keenan had initially used a lower resolution webcam for scanning the pages. However, the image quality was too blurry. He then chose V4K for the higher image quality provided by its 8MP camera.
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