Braille Reader Using Shape Memory Alloy

According to data from the 1994 National Health Interview Survey on Disability approximately 527,000 persons in the U.S. use some type of vision device. The following tables provide a breakdown of technology use by age of person and type of device.


Table 2‑1: Number and Percent of persons using Vision Devices

  AT device All Ages Ages 44 and under Ages 45-64 Ages 65 and over
Total number of people Any vision device 527,000 123,000 135,000 268,000
Percentages of people using each device out of all those who use any vision device Telescopic lenses 30% 32% 37% 26%
Braille 11% 23% 17% 3%
Readers 13% 12% 10% 15%
White cane 25% 28% 36% 18%
Computer equipment 6% 16% 6% 3%
Other 53% 42% 56% 56%

The above table shows that the number of visually impaired users using Braille script to read is less as compared to that of the other devices. Amongst these, users under age of 44 use it the most while for other age groups, other devices are preferred.

Commercially available Braille displays use bimorph piezoelectric bending actuators to control individual Braille dots [3, 4]. Attempts at reducing cost of these devices have brought it down to current levels in the range of 2500-4000 USD (65-100 USD per Braille character), which are yet significantly high [5]. Hence, recent attempts at developing affordable Braille displays have concentrated on developing new actuators, which are more cost-effective, as opposed to piezoelectric actuators. Notable actuation alternatives proposed and developed for this purpose include actuators based on electromagnetics, electrostatics, pneumatics, thermo-pneumatics and smart materials.

Smart materials used for electromechanical actuation include Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs), electro-active polymers (EAPs), electro-rheological (ER) fluids and magneto-rheological (MR) fluids. No commercial Braille display has been reported, which successfully exploits any of the above mentioned alternatives.

SMA based actuation, in general, offers certain distinct advantages compared to other actuation alternatives. When compared to other smart materials, SMAs offer higher actuation stress as well as strain, which is preferred for a Braille display due to definite requirements of stroke and resisting force [8]. Compared to conventional actuation alternatives, SMAs offer a higher power density, allowing development of miniature actuators suited for the size and spacing requirements of Braille.

SMA wire in a ‘V’ shape configuration with perfectly chosen angle and length makes it possible to achieve perfect stiffness needed [9]. There are various ways to attain variable stiffness in the SMA wire [10]. Variable stiffness can be added to the system to enable users to press pins with the force they desire. From variety of SMA materials available, NiTi alloy is the best suited for actuation purposes due its actuation properties, and affordable cost [16].

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Sentence and its Kinds

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The Emerging Big Returns on Big Data

In this Big Data study by TCS they provide insights into how large companies across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America are investing in Big Data initiatives and deriving returns from it.

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Under My Thumb

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National Entrepreneurship Challenge

The Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Bombay is a place for all those who avoid taking beaten paths and believe in leaving trails in all walks of life. The Cell at IIT Bombay aims at manifesting the latent Entrepreneurial spirit of young students. Not only do we at E-Cell show you the doors of opportunity but we also help you to walk through it by providing resources such as seed, funding mentoring ,networking with other entrepreneurs frequent interactive sessions and Competitions.

If you have the entrepreneurial spark, we make sure that it bursts. Strategically, placed in a leading technological institute at the heart of the commercial capital of the country gives it a bird’s eye view of both, the students and the corporate. With full- fledged support from the institute, the Cell finds itself as a tide that would lift all the boats that come in it’s path.

It is a firm belief at the Entrepreneurship Cell that original thoughts and radical ideas take shape in young minds. Students are the greatest natural resource and the Cell intends to nurture them and provide them with opportunities for excellence. It intends to pierce the corporate veil, to let the budding entrepreneurs get a feel of how the corporate world works. In all it is the cherished dream of the Entrepreneurship Cell to create corprocrats out of the present day technocrats.



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Stop Women Harassment

Lets try for a better tommorrow


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