Raspberry Pi: BrailleBox – Android Things Braille news display

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Joe Birch has built a elementary device that translates online news stories to Braille, desirous by his family’s proclivity to detriment of eyesight. He has formed his BrailleBox on Android Things, News API, and a Raspberry Pi 3.

Demonstation of Joe Birch's BrailleBox

The background

Braille is a pitch complement for people with visible spoil that represents letters and numbers as lifted points. Commercial inclination that boldly furnish Braille are really expensive, so Joe motionless to build a low-cost choice that is elementary to recreate.

Braille alphabet

Image by DIPF CC BY-SA 3.0

News API is a apparatus for attractive JSON metadata from over 70 online news sources. You can use it to confederate headlines or articles into websites and text-based applications.

The BrailleBox

To emanate a 6 nubs required to form Braille symbols, Joe surfaced solenoids with wooden balls. He afterwards connected them adult to GPIO pins of a Pi 3 around a breadboard.

One of a solenoids of Joe Birch's BrailleBox

One of a solenoids Joe built into a BrailleBox

Next, he took control of a solenoids regulating Android Things. He set adult a BrailleBox module to start regulating on boot, and combined a pull button. When he presses a button, a module fetches a news story regulating News API, and a solenoids start moving.

BrailleBox Demo

Uploaded by Joe Birch on 2017-06-20.

Since Joe is an Android Engineer, looking by his write-up and formula for BrailleBox competence be useful for anyone meddlesome in Android Things.

If we like this project, make certain we keep an eye on Joe’s Twitter, given he has skeleton to refurbish a BrailleBox design. His subsequent step is to pierce on from a prototyping theatre and residence all a hardware inside a box. Moreover, he is meditative about adding a potentiometer so that users can select their elite reading speed.


If we wish to find a community’s review about accessibility and assistive technology, conduct to a forums. And if you’re operative to make computing some-more accessible, or if you’ve built an assistive project, let us know in a comments or on amicable media, so that we can boost a signal!

Source: Raspberry Pi blog

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