IIT Madras Researchers Create Devices That Help Hearing And Speech Disabled People Communicate Freely

Image Credits: News18

The Logical Indian Crew

IIT Madras Researchers Create Devices That Help Hearing And Speech Disabled People Communicate Freely

Two devices created by the students can help to hear disabled react to specific alert sounds like the ringing of a doorbell or crying of a baby etc. Another device can help people with speech disabled to communicate.

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A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras ,has created devices to assist people with disabilities. Two devices created by the students can help to hear disabled react to specific alert sounds like the ringing of a doorbell or crying of a baby etc. Another device can help people with speech disabled to communicate.

Wearable Assistive Devices

The first device called 'Vibe' is a wearable device that vibrates for acoustic sounds around a person with a hearing impairment. Vibe features many sound patterns that are recognised using a microphone and voice recognition modules. Vibe will alert the hearing impaired person about a specific sound like an alarm, doorbell or a crying kid. It will be wearable and compact as a watch. It is a simple and easy way of providing vibration input for the pre-identified surrounding sounds, with each sound corresponding to a specific vibration and blinking LEDs to alert the user, News18 reported.

The second device, 'iGest' will function as an alternative and augmentative communication device for people with cerebral palsy. It will recognise the gestures of persons with restricted motor skills and convert them into audio output through a smartphone. It aims to address problems of speech impairment and motor impairments faced by such people.

The Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology (CREATE) is developing the devices, which are embedded systems and will bring the latest developments from IoT and ML to wearable assistive devices.

Highlighting the need for indigenous development of assistive devices, Professor Anil Prabhakar, head, CREATE-IIT Madras said, "The hearing-impaired are excluded from the mainstream and inclusive education system due to lack of affordable and sustainable assistive systems and devices. In addition, most of them could not afford the imported devices."

Devices To Be Affordable

In order to be an affordable device for its basic functionality, Prabhakar added that the cost of the product is kept low and will be sold at less than 5,000. "The advance of technology and the advent and availability of low-cost microcontrollers and sensors allows us to come up with this unique low-cost device," he added.

According to the last census, 20 per cent of the Indian population suffere from a motor disability. Such persons frequently go in for occupational therapy. In addition, some require physiotherapy only on certain occasions e.g., lousy posture or strained muscle. iGest will cater to a large number of such cases.

Also Read: Delhi Students Develop Machine To End Practice Of Manual Scavenging

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