Communicative Hand Glove for the Hearing Impaired

The objective of this EPICS project is to develop a device that converts the mechanism of physical hand sign language into alphanumerical characters which would assist the user to communicate via text display and speech. This product would be developed mainly assist those who are deaf. The device is in the form of a portable hand glove on which the display along with controller board is installed.

The right handed glove is made of fabric, with five sensor boards mounted on the back nail sections of each finger. Five dual axis accelerometers (ADXL203) are used, manufactured by “Analog Devices PVT LTD” on the glove. A microcontroller is programmed to convert the sign language into alphanumerical and to display it on a LCD. Further, the obtained text is converted into voice and is given out as the output.

Students from the student branch of BVBCET Hubli in the Bangalore Section of India will collaborate with the non-profit organization, DEEDS Public Charitable Trust. DEEDS began as the mission of a group of successful businessmen with the intention of giving back to society. Their dedicated attempt was to empower the hearing impaired and provide a platform for their overall development and work towards their education, progress, and empowerment. DEEDS will help the project group to easily communicate with deaf for the project. The second collaborating non-profit is Center for Technology Entrepreneurship (CTE) at B.C. Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering and Technology. CTE has a mission to empower engineering graduates who have a passion for entrepreneurship. CTE has an endeavor to develop and sustain a business ecosystem, where in engineering graduates aspire to be entrepreneurs and help develop the regional economy, which will help participating students build entrepreneurial skills for future engineering endeavors.

The project will involve six secondary school students. These students are currently studying in 8th and 9th grades and have basic information on communication. To familiarize them with the project, the project group will conduct a two day workshop, where they will introduce these students to the motive of the project, design process involved and the overall functionality of the modules. Once the students are able to understand the reason of the project and working of each module, they will be divided into two groups.

The first group will be involved in the mounting of passive elements on the glove, like mounting the sensor boards, mounting the display, etc. By this, it is hoped that these students will be obtaining a touch and feel experience of the various components involved in the project. The second group of students will be involved in testing and validating the weights (as calculated by the program using a weighted formula to recognize the section of each finger). By this, it is hoped that these students will learn how to recognize different symbols of the sign language and the basics of microcontroller coding. Once the product is ready for demonstration, the groups will go to different deaf schools for onsite feedback and installation.