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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages 45-60
http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/ABB-2012-0055

A Portable Piezoelectric Tactile Terminal for Braille Readers

Ramiro Velázquez, Hermes Hernández, and Enrique Preza

Mecatrónica y Control de Sistemas, Universidad Panamericana, Aguascalientes, Mexico

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper introduces a novel concept on reading assistive technologies for the blind: the TactoBook, a system that is able to translate entire electronic books (eBooks) to Braille code and to reproduce them in portable electronic Braille terminals. The TactoBook consists of a computer-based translator that converts fast and automatically any eBook into Braille. The Braille version of the eBook is then encrypted as a file and stored in a USB memory drive which is later inserted and reproduced in a compact, lightweight, and highly-portable tactile terminal. In particular, this paper presents a piezoelectric ultrasonic actuation approach to design and implement such portable Braille terminal. Actuating mechanism, design concept, first prototype, and performance results are presented and discussed.