Braille Hop

An Interactive Learning Aid for Visually Challenged

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An interactive play board for the visually challenged children which will help the students to play and make braille pattern on the ground.
The goal of the design is to create an aid which empowers children to build cognitive, social, physical, orientation and mobility skills.
The idea is to make them physically and mentally strong which will help them for pre-Braille development and at the same time make their sensory experience richer.


Final code with all peripherals integrated.

ino - 8.82 kB - 08/24/2018 at 03:55


Audio Files for the SD Card. Extract and Paste directly in the Card with files in mp3 folder

Zip Archive - 1.53 MB - 08/23/2018 at 04:08


ino - 8.05 kB - 08/23/2018 at 04:07


outer layout.dxf

Main Layout Files

AutoCAD DXF - 690.27 kB - 08/23/2018 at 04:07


circle 30 cm.dxf

Laser Cut Files for the circle

AutoCAD DXF - 32.93 kB - 08/23/2018 at 04:05


  • 1 × Arduino Nano Program audio and system and assemble of different part
  • 2 × 2 Foam mats (with Different texture) used for tactile feedback basically material it used to make footwear
  • 1 × USB Cable Mini B
  • 10 × Jumper Wires F-F

View all 11 components

  • Final Design Concept

    Rohit Gupta08/22/2018 at 06:05 0 comments

    3D Rendering and CMF ( Color Material Finish ) Study :

  • Mockups and Low Fi Prototyping

    Rohit Gupta08/22/2018 at 05:36 0 comments

    After discussion with teachers and experts and evaluating the merits and demerits of each ideas, we decided to build mock-ups for the selected ones. These mockups will be presented to teachers and students under their supervision for feedback. A chosen concept will be worked upon later.

    1. Puzzle Duck -> Mu Duck

    2. Tasker
    3.  Braille Box -> Braille Hop

    The video of very early stage prototype was as follows:

    Choosing the final concept

    We presented these mock-ups to the experts for a feedback. The suggestions were:

    Mu Duck
    Easy for kids to relate to as it is similar to LEGO.Not Novel
    Attendees need to take care of blocks
    No semantic match
    Costly to make
    Only a small number of kids can play
    TaskerInvolves physical activities
    Has a social aspect
    Helpful in developing communication
    Difficult to explain the rules of the game every time to the students
    Constant need of a supervisor
    No exact goal or wining strategy
    No Feedback
    Braille Hop
    Provides both learning and testing
    Use of texture and bright colours
    Allows physical play

    Difficult to assemble
    Lack of referencing that helps in orientation
    Less feedback

    Hence, we choose to work on Braille Hop. Our aim is to develop open source games for people affected by disabilities.  Hence, in proper spirit , we have open sourced our work to allow maximum reach. We hope many makerspaces /makers would contribute to this by suggesting changes and reproducing the design and installing it the schools.

    We will now discuss the project as a build log.

  • Initial Ideas

    Rohit Gupta08/22/2018 at 05:03 0 comments

    After understanding the context and defining the scope of interventions, we ideated on several concepts. They are :

    Concept 1: Tasker
    Tasker, it is a game in which a user needs to perform a certain task within the time limit.
    Age group: 4+

    - Board has nine slots per player, 10th is the winning slot.
    - Board consist five different types of tiles, It denotes the identity of the player during play, each tile texture match with a base which helps proceed to appropriate row slots correctly

    - Maximum five players can play this game. This game played under elder supervision to monitor player performing a task correctly.
    - If a user could not be able to perform a given task correctly. A user is not allowed to proceed to next step.

    - A player completes all task successfully and reaches the winning slot going to win the game.

    The board features two modes of Practice mode and Play mode
    - Play mode users can play against each other
    - Practice mode can practice different physical exercise

    How to play
    - Switch on the Board
    - Select type “play mode or practice mode” by hitting the push button
    - If play mode selected players can choose an available tiles
    - The audio clip starts playing, eg. Jump four times. The player holding tile one play first he/she should get up and perform a task within 10 seconds
    - All the task monitor by elder supervision (teacher/parents)
    - As the complete player task successfully can move to next slot and deposited the tile in it.


    - Body movement
    - Collaborative play
    - Cognitive skills
    - Motor skills
    - sensory development

    Concept 2 : Puzzle Duck

    Students already interact with duck shape toy ( swing duck toy placed in the playground at their school during the recess students interact with it)

    Age group: 3+

    - There are 4 puzzle pieces which can be disassemble from the duck frame. Every puzzle piece has its own texture, size, color & shape

    - On the de-constructed body of duck there will be tactile cues which will guide the user where the puzzle part should be placed
    -Every piece of the puzzle is lightweight, easy to pick up and move around. Duck frame consist one gyro sensor which detects the motion and start playing music
    - Each part of puzzle piece has unique vacant space to fit a magnetic shaped tile, magnet help to hold the tile during the play.

    - At every single piece of a puzzle, numeric number embossed on both sides. so a user can understand this is a first or second piece of the puzzle and number denotes that many shaped tiles can fix on a piece of a puzzle

    How to play
    - This is a multi-player game one or more than one children can play to solve a puzzle at a time
    - This will be a group activity in which the children have to navigate the space and find the pieces of the duck body
    - First each magnetic tiles needs to place correctly then the puzzle piece should be placed

    - After completing the duck shape once a child ride. Duck start singing nursery rhymes.

    - Increase social Interaction
    - Collaborative play
    - Motor skills
    - Sense of satisfaction
    - Spatial awareness
    - Sensory development

    Concept 3 : Braille Box

    It’s a multi-player game
    Age group: 4+

    - Player start the game from the centre tile/box(which is shown in blue colour at the image)

    -Other participants going to give a word to a player for eg.Player got word “P”, a player needs to understand how to write P in 6 dots Braille.

    - A player should remember a pattern of dots and visit to each box made a given
    word. If player visited correct boxes and reach to home box successfully he/
    she will win and get the another chance to play again
    - If user miss the pattern of a word or place a foot on the borderline he/she loses the game and next player get chance to play the game

    Concept 4 : Audio- tactile Alphabet book
    Audio-tactile book consist all alphabet from A to Z and number from 0 to 9

    Age group: 2 year onwards
    Number of players: It is a single player toy

    - on the Left page of book tactile image of the object or animal (e.g.,...

    Read more »

  • Design Direction

    Rohit Gupta08/22/2018 at 04:10 0 comments

    The design direction was to hence, work on these aspects:

    1. COGNITIVE : concentration memory logical reasoning analysing skills thinking skills
    2. SOCIAL : Expression emotions Understanding emotions,Language skills Verbal communication Non verbal communication
    3. SENSORY : Enhance senses, Material Movement/mechanics
    4. AFFORDABLE : Easy to use, Less Maintenance, Adaptable

  • Understanding the context

    Rohit Gupta08/22/2018 at 04:06 0 comments

    Today we worked on organizing the knowledge and started ideation on the possible ways in which kids can learn Braille.

    The games have broadly categorized the games into 4 distinct categories.

    1. Cognitive Toys: Toys that stimulate thinking and problem-solving are cognitive toys.
    2. Physical Toys: Toys that help in developing the gross and fine motor skills are physical toys.
    3. Sensory Toys: Toys that stimulate the senses of hearing, smell, touch, sight, and taste are sensory toys.
    4. Social Toys: Toys that help children to develop social skills and understand emotions are social toys.

    The various kinds of toys/facilities we saw were :

    The major learning problems were :
    • Motor skills:Delay in learning to crawl or walk
    • Sensory development: Fear of new experience e.g. sound, texture,difficulty in developing body awareness
    • Communication and social skill: difficulty in learning facial expressions and body postures
    • Self-help skills: additional help needed as they can not observe and copy e.g. tying lace

  • Research at Blind School in Mumbai

    Rohit Gupta08/16/2018 at 07:28 3 comments

    Today we were at Kamla Nehru Blind School, Dadar, Mumbai to explore the current ecosystem available to blind kids to learn Braille. We interacted with the teachers to get an understanding of ways they use to teach Braille, various activities kids do at school, their schedule and course content.

View all 6 project logs

  • 1
    Preparation - Construction

    We used one inch thick rubber mat used in truck building and flooring to build the game.

    The entire geometry was designed in a vector software and then laser cut . The elements can be assembled like a jigsaw puzzle.

    The files are available for download and modification for NC use.

    The circular discs were painted yellow in using a spray can to create visual distinction. They have a distinct texture on them to further add redundancy while distinguishing an active area.   A small hole was also made for the piezo buzzer. A simple SPST switch was used under the tiles to detect the children. The switch construction was suitable for weights upto 60kgs.

    We tested the switch durability till 80kgs and found no issues.

    To minimize the wiring, we designed a trick to use to use the buzzer. Lets find out in the next build-log.

  • 2
    Preparation and Assembly : Hardware

    Now once, the pieces have been laser cut and painted (You may paint them later as well), we assembled them as shown.

    In the holes made in the circles, we position the Piezo buzzers and hot glue the switches in a cavity inside the foam circles.

    The cavity helps in reducing direct impact on the switch when jumped on. One might question the possible use of Piezo discs. In our work, we found that due to the wire length, the signal did not reach reliably and  they were expensive from a cost point of view.

    Let us move to the circuit part:
    The circuit is made up of three components :
    1. Arduino that stores the game logic
    2. DFPlayer module that plays the audio feedback files
    3. Sensing (switches) and Feedback ( piezo buzzer and speaker) peripherals

    Their connections were made as follows: 

    We used 3 pin connectors for each tile.
    The positive terminal of all the buzzers is connected to pin 13 and gets activated only when the switch is pressed. The arduino detects the press and modulates the sound on the buzzer. It seems, this reduces a lot of wiring and complexity.

    In the end we have the set-up that looks as follows:

  • 3
    Software and Game

    The code(braille-hop_all_6_working) is given in the downloads section. It helps you test the circuit and check the game play. After making connection, burn the code in the arduino. We used nano for the same. You might need these libraries :

    • ElapsedMillis
    • Button
    • DFPlayer

    Kindly install them.

    Paste the mp3 files in the zip file in your SD card and insert in DF Player. Connect it via a 3.5mm jack to the speakers or use the speaker output on the dfplayer itself. The speaker out is very low and noisy and hence, we recommend using an external speaker.

    We tried to use the audio modality to maximum extent as a means of feedback. Whenever the user places her foot on the disc the audio clip is played to let the user know where she is and a beep to provide feedback that the step has been registered. This repeatedly establishes the reference in her mind and provides as much feedback as possible. If she stands on the tile for more than 3 secs the game accepts that as input. It provides a feedback by sounding the buzzer near the tile. Hence, the user waits for the buzzer to go off before moving to the next tile. This further seems to reduce errors.

    The demo of this interaction is shown below :

    If the game stays idle for about 60 secs, it restarts automatically. 

    The code(Braillehop_working_code) for playing audio files is updated in the downloads section.

View all 4 instructions

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