BrailleBox is a Raspberry Pi braille news reader


We’ve seen a few Raspberry Pi projects intended for the visually impaired before, and BrailleBox is another creation with the intent of turning news stories into braille.

Created by Joe Birch, the main focus of the build is a plastic box which houses six solenoids arranged to reproduce letters in braille. Each solenoid is tipped with a small wooden ball for the user to feel.

A Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, running Android Things and News API, fetches stories from the internet and turns the text into instructions for the solenoids.

The movements are very subtle – you can see it in action in the gif below.

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The button below the six wooden balls is what fetches a new story when pressed, so the machine doesn’t “randomly start clicking out of the blue”.

Birch admits that this is only a prototype, which is why the Raspberry Pi sits outside of the main housing. It’s still a great first attempt and he’s got ideas for future versions, including the ability to change the speed at which the text is displayed.

He may also want to change the name, as “BrailleBox” seems to be an existing embossing machine.

You can find a full guide to replicate the project over on Hackster.io with the code available on GitHub.

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