Mudra: a Braille dicta-teacher

Sanskriti Dawle and Aman Srivastav are second-year students at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Goa. After a Raspberry Pi workshop they decided they wanted to do something more meaningful than just flash LEDs on and off, and set this month’s PyCon in Montreal as their deadline.

team-mudra1

Aman Srivastav and Sanskriti Dawle

They ended up producing something really special. Mudra means “sign” in Sanskrit: the Raspberry Pi-based device is a learning tool for visually impaired people, which teaches Braille by translating speech to Braille symbols. Braille literacy among blind people is poor even in the developed world: in India, it’s extremely low, and braille teachers are very, very few. So automating the teaching process – especially in an open and inexpensive way like this – is invaluable.

In its learning mode, Mudra uses Google’s speech API to translate single letters and numbers into Braille, so learners can go at their own speed. Exam modes and auto modes are also available. This whole video is well worth your time, but if you’re anxious to see the device in action, fast-forward to 1:30.

Sanskriti and Aman say:

Mudra is an excellent example of what even programming newbies can achieve using Python. It is built on a Raspi to make it as out-of-the-box as possible. We have close to zero coding experience, yet Python has empowered us enough to make a social impact with Mudra, the braille dicta-teacher, which just might be the future of Braille instruction and learning.

We think Mudra’s a real achievement, and a great example of clean and simple ideas which can have exceptional impact. You can see the Mudra repository on GitHub if you’d like a nose around how things work; we’re hoping that Sanskriti and Aman are able to productise their idea and make it widely available to people all over the world.

10 comments

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So I met the team at the PyCon poster session. This project is going to be amazing.

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Hi Shea! Please tell us more; we’d love to learn a bit more about the project.

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Yes absolutely! A definite candidate for best project to date on a Pi IMHO. Liz, do you give out prizes? If you do: my vote’s for Aman and Sanskriti. Now, if this could be turned into a commoditised off the shelf plug ‘n play box o’tricks with a Pi inside that can be replicated globally…

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I sent you an email with some more information and their contact info :)

-Shea

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Hi Liz,

Thanks for such a well-written article! You can reach me at sanskritiATprojectmudraDOTcom. We also have a website at http://projectmudra.com, it would be great if you could give a link to it in the article.. Thanks!

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I wonder if this could also be linked into the OCR project from yesterday, and be turned into an automatic printed-book -> Braille ‘reader’ ?
They could call it “Raspberry Eye” :)

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Hi

Unrelated!
The new website isn’t compatible with my setup.

XP and Firefox.

Trying to read your blog with the righthand side bar overlapping, means I have to struggle, either read between the lines or reduce the font size considerably.

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Hi,

Thank you Liz for the wonderful article!

And AndrewS yes we are looking into all sorts of extensions and uses!It’s only been six months since we started working on this, we hope to make more progress in the summer.
I can be reached at : amanATprojectmudraDOTcom

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really a nice project, hope it will be developed furthur for other platform also so it can reach to all possible hands.

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It is really a nice thought and initiative. I would like to get involved in this. Let me know some more details of what u did?

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