The working prototype is here!
The device is inspired by the inspiring playful toys made by blind people with whom I work, at Blind Lead Initiative, Tamil Nadu, India. They are excellent at making stuff with their hand, so it would be so awesome if they could upload their designs online, and more importantly share design ideas with people. So, I have made an interface for a person to draw a 2D sketch into a computer using touch, and the person using a computer in another place can download the sketch and feel the drawing using this device, independent of sight.
Team: Abhinav Gupta, Sankalp Modi, Rashi Nigam, Bhaskar Mukherjee
Advisor: David Sexton, Ted Moallem
This is a great chance to explore visualization through touch and sound.
Starting from basics, although sighted children have a huge variety of media with which they can scribble and draw (e.g., pen/pencil on paper, chalk on pavement, crayon on walls, etc.), blind children do not have comparably cheap, simple means for drawing raised lines with simultaneous tactile feedback.
Arvind Gupta has made a very simple setup using which the blind can communicate their drawings easily, but using woolen thread on a velcro sheet http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys/touchingslate.... .