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Lowering the cost of Refreshable Braille Cells

Hackaday - a hardware hacking website – has published the news about a low-cost braille display device with less than a $1 braille cell price. Currently, the refreshable braille devices available in the market are priced at a rate of $100 to $150 per braille cell which would linearly affect the final price of a multi-cell display to between $5,000 to $12,000 for 40-cell and 80-cell displays due to the common use of expensive piezo-electric actuated pins. This conversely affected the accessibility of these technologies for the visually impaired community. The Electromechanical Refreshable Braille Module project instead employs an electromechanical system with off-the-shelf and easily manufacturable components, leveraging the accessibility of high-quality 3D Printers and micro-magnets to keep the cost low without compromising functionality.

According to the author, Vijay, “The only drawback of the drive system was that it takes at least 100ms to change the state of one pin, and this stacks up if more cells are added up. If we were to change the drive electronics so all pins of a single module can be driven simultaneously, then the refresh time should come down to 100ms per module, instead of 100ms per pin.”

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