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  • Braille-It Labeler brings low-cost printing, ‘sightless construction’ to the blind

    It’s certainly not the first Braille label printer we’ve seen, but Ted Moallem’s Braille-It Labeler does bring notably unique element to the table — namely, “sightless construction.” Presented at this year’s A Better World by Design conference, this compact device allows blind or visually impaired users to print out adhesive labels in Braille, thanks to a simple six-button design that’s compatible with any Braille alphabet. Made out of relatively common materials like aluminum and steel wire, the Braille-It can also be constructed by the blind themselves — a potentially groundbreaking development for a demographic that’s too often ignored by the retail sector. Moallem, a former MIT grad student, explains:

    Blind people cannot depend on mainstream commercial forces to advance the cause of Braille literacy. Nearly two centuries after the invention of Braille by a blind adolescent boy, the most widely used Braille-writing tools, the slate and stylus, are quite similar to the tools used by Louis Braille himself. In the hands of the sighted, the low-cost Braille industry has stagnated.

    The inventor tested his label maker at a workshop last year in Katpadi, India, where blind trainees successfully taught other visually impaired users how to create their very own Braille-It. Moallem is now looking to set up similar workshops across other locations, including Senegal, Liberia and Lebanon. The ultimate goal is to empower blind consumers to create their own low-cost and potentially life-saving tools — particularly in developing countries, which account for an estimated 90 percent of the world’s blind population. If successful, Moallem’s invention and ensuing campaign could provide a remarkably simple solution for a large, yet often neglected population. We certainly wish him the best of luck. Find out more at the source link below, or check out Inhabitat‘s extensive coverage for more images and insight.

    Braille-It Labeler brings low-cost printing, ‘sightless construction’ to the blind originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 01 Dec 2011 17:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

    Permalink Inhabitat  |  sourceBlindLead.org  | Email this | Comments

  • Ladder-climbing robot brings us one step closer to extinction (video)

    Will finding high ground save you when SkyNet becomes self-aware and Terminators annihilate the human race? Doubtful, thanks to Japanese robotics company Muscle Corp., which has built a robot that can climb ladders…and other stuff. “Dream Robo” certainly isn’t the first wall-climbing robot, but its eerie anthropomorphic shape is guaranteed to send its victims into paroxysms of terror when it slowly, inexorably make its way up the side of a building to sate its hunger for human blood. Muscle Corp. President Hirofumi Tamai says the robot only took three months to build, with 15 companies collaborating to create the vertical killing machine. The device incorporates five motors: two in the shoulders, two in the legs, one in the back, all of which can be seen in action in the video above. No word on the specs of the beams that rain hot, fiery death from its chitinous, soulless black eyes, but we’ll be honest — our fear wouldn’t allow us to inquire.

    Ladder-climbing robot brings us one step closer to extinction (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 01 Dec 2011 17:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

    Permalink TechCrunch  |  sourceDigInfo  | Email this | Comments

  • Galaxy Nexus goes on sale early in Germany, makes itself Handy

    Ein Handy to rule them all? If you’re living in the Googleverse, then yes. The Galaxy Nexus has already offered itself up for rabid consumption throughout the UK and now, it’s sending das Deutsche Volk into a tizzy. Various reports have the handset leapfrogging its German release date by a week and landing on shelves at consumer electronics chain, Media Markt, although prices seem to be all over the place — ranging from €629 (about $847) to €529 (about $713). It doesn’t appear all local outlets have the devices in stock, but don’t let that hold you back from trying your luck anyway. Now, if only us statesiders could get a firm launch date for Rubin’s frosty treat.

    Galaxy Nexus goes on sale early in Germany, makes itself Handy originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 01 Dec 2011 16:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

    Permalink   |  sourceMobiFlip (Translated)  | Email this | Comments

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