The BecDot is an Arduino-based Braille teaching tool for children
While instruments are available for those with visual impairment to read electronic media, they can be quite expensive, costing over $1,000. This is good for adults, but something more kid-friendly (and possibly replaceable) is needed to open up this world to those just learning.
The device–which is now in a prototype form–senses when a plastic object (a letter block, a plastic animal, etc.) is placed in the reader via preprogrammed NFC tags, then raises the corresponding dots on four Braille pads. The prototype uses an Arduino Uno for control, and a system that he developed to raise the Braille dots as needed.
I incorporated an NFC reader (Adafruit PN532) into the device. The idea was that the reader would read a preprogrammed tag that a parent, caregiver or educator could place on a toy such as a letter block, a plastic dog, cow, goat, etc. When the child places the toy in the reader the device will display the braille equivalent of the object on the four cells. Of course lights and sounds would also come later in the development of the device.
Lacourse hopes to one day bring the BecDot to market for under $100. Until then, you can check it out in the video below and read more about this amazing project here!