Hunting the Elusive BrailleDuino

Besides I also own the domain Yes, that site also needs a lot of work to be done on it. To do more work on I need to research and collect data concerning assistive technology.

While looking around the Arduino forum I saw a post from 2009 by a member whose username is "Epokh" titled "BrailleDuino".

Jun 15, 2009, 12:49 am
BrailleBand is an innovative electronic braille device that interfaced to a PC to allow visually impaired to type text and read braille characters embossed dynamically on the device's "display".
The prototype that won several awards, is based on Arduino 2009 and a LED matrix that emulate the mini actuators embossing matrix.
It's a very good way to know more about braille and how to use arduino's port registers for real time tasks.
We will upload the blog with future prototypes and events.
The design and the new method for embossing braille characters on a polymer sheet has been patented by Nial Slater, the invetor. 

The "BrailleDuino" is mentioned again on the official blog almost a year later linking to a tutorial. However, the website the tutorial is supposed to be on appears to have not renewed it's registration and is now gone. Luckily, the Internet Archive at preserved the tutorial. The archived site even has a decode_braille dot zip file with the python scrypt library for the communicating with the microcontroller board.

Below is a diagram of the BrailleBand (a.k.a. "Brailleduino".

Photo Source:

Below is a YouTube video I found on of the inventor talking about his invention.

That's about as much as I've been able to learn about this assistive technology so far. While researching this I found a reference that for at least awhile The Boston Arduino Users Group was working on their own version of a BrailleDuino. My next step in research will have to be contacting them and seeing if they can provide any further information about this technology.

If anybody has any further details about this technology please let me know.


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