Monday, March 26th - Introduction
During this session, we had to find a SDG-related problem we wanted to try solving. In our group, we first looked at every Sustainable Development Goal on the United Nations website and started eliminating those who didn’t spark any ideas in our minds. While talking about the kind of problems we wanted to solve, we agreed on making something to help disabled people (specifically blind and visually-impaired people). We then searched for different projects that already existed to help us find more precises ideas. The projects which caught our attention the most were:
- The SmartCane™ : An enhanced version of the “white cane”, which uses sensors to detect more obstacle than the original cane http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/20/tech/innovation/sonar-sticks-use-ultrasound-blind/index.html
- OxSight (formerly “Assisted Vision”) : Glasses which use LED screens and headphones to help with the visualisation of distances and motion. For the partially blind.
- Voice Stick: A portable stick used to scan text. The text is then orally transmitted through earphones. It is a helpful device, because many texts are not translated into braille due to high costs.
We hesitated between the last two. The first one wasn’t that much appealing to us compared to the others because it is already pretty cheap. We first settled on a scanning device which could scan an entire mass-market paperback book page at once and translate it into braille through a small board; but then we realised that it would take way to much time and resources than we have. Ultimately, we decided to look for a way to make enhanced glasses with less resources and less electronic-building skills.