Dept. Of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Li Yin is a recent graduate of the BSc. Honours Program from the Lassonde School of Engineering majoring in Computer Science. Li previously completed EECS 4082 under the supervision of Dr. Melanie Baljko, which was a 6-credit course focusing on the Talkbox Digital Assistive Technology. Li has spent the summer working for Dr. Baljko on the Enabling Media for Literacy research project. In particular, Li was part of a group of individuals responsible for developing a Braille enabled device capable of telling a preloaded story. By the end of the summer, Li hopes to understand the architecture behind the process of designing for the visually impaired. As a computer scientist specializing in interactive systems, Li understands the importance of “barrier-free” design the need to include everyone in the design process. He hopes to apply the knowledge and experience gained from this project towards future design projects involving technology and people with disabilities.
Enabling Media for Literacy: Develop and Evaluate Digital Technologies
The objective of the 'ENAbling MEdia for Literacy' (ENAMEL) research project is to develop and to evaluate digital technologies that can be used by stakeholders to support literacy development. These technologies tend toward low-cost, DIY variants (such as 3D printing and low-cost single-board computers, such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino) and open source software. It also provides them with a cheap and easily accessible alternative to many of the more expensive devices out on the market today. These technologies provide innovative and new approaches to supporting the development of functional knowledge in learners (primarily children) concerning printed and written materials.
My research focused on the development and evaluation of one such technology, more specifically, a digital device that assists individuals who wish to learn Braille, formally known as the Treasure Box Braille (TBB). The TBB is capable of telling a preloaded story through audio output, while displaying important parts of the story using a physical, dynamically-controllable braille cell. The TBB is controlled by a Raspberry Pi computer and requires several components to power and to control the physical braille cell. The stories that are told by the TBB are in a special format which can be interpreted by the software on the Raspberry Pi. The TBB is intended to assist individuals who are visually impaired by helping them understand and learn braille. My research concerns the iterative design of this device, including the source code of the TBB software, the physical body of the TBB case, and the hardware components involved in the TBB’s operation.