Toy Teaches Kids Braille in Fun, Simple, and Affordable Way

BecDot is a toy that also doubles as a learning tool. Not only is it fun to play with but it also teaches braille. Braille is an essential skill for children with visual impairments to have so that they can keep up with their peers—both socially and academically.

BecDot came about because a father was not satisfied with the braille tools that were currently available for his daughter, so he decided to get to work and design his own!

One of the things holding back devices like this is the complexity and cost of braille displays. If you think what’s behind an LCD is complicated, imagine if every pixel needed to actually move up and down independently and withstand frequent handling. The braille equivalents of e-readers can cost thousands to display a sentence or two at a time — but of course kids don’t need that.

Unsatisfied with the available options, Jake decided to engineer his own. He created a simple Scotch yoke mechanism that can control up to three dots at a time, meaning two of them can create a braille letter. It’s all controlled by an Arduino Uno. Simple means cheap, and the other parts are far from expensive; he told me that his bill of materials right now is around $50, and he could probably get it below $30.

Read more about how the BecDot was made in TechCrunch:  http://dky.bz/2G6r8aS

About this author

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Jenn Toso, Social Media Marketing Specialist, specializes in all things social! As a dedicated member of the social media team at Digi-Key Electronics, you can find her blogging, sharing, tweeting and posting on Digi-Key’s social media channels. Jenn’s passion is the Maker and STEM communities and believes that today’s young people hold the key to a brighter tomorrow for everyone. Jenn holds a Bachelor of Science in Business, a Master of Science in Internet Marketing and a PhD in Hockey Mom. In her spare time, Jenn likes to explore her newly discovered affinity for wearable technology and fuel her addiction to all things hockey. You can usually find Jenn on some type of social media or in a hockey arena – sometimes enjoying both at the same time.

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