Automated Production of Tactile Maps for the Blind
Small Business Information
7735 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 410, Bethesda, MD, 20814
AbstractWe seek to provide innovative methods for producing tactile graphics for the visually impaired.We aim to develop an efficient computer-driven system, "MapUp", to make low-relief mold formoderate-volume reproduction jobs at centralize sits. End users (sighted or assisted) will use existinggraphics-producing software to create images for transmission to the center via floppy or modem. Theimages will be converted by MapUp's software component into command files for mold-makingmachinery. Phase I MapUp routines will: input an image in a popular bitmap format for on-screenviewing; convert it using image processing to a vectorized MapUp-format file; convert the MapUp fileto either PostScript for verification, or to milling machine CNC codes. Using theses routines, samplebitmaps will generate Phase I valuative single-level tactile molds. We will also begin novel multi-levelmodeling and additional Phase II routines. The project also features hardware advances in mold-product-ion media and equipment, involving adaptation of commercial or prototype machinery,, or assembly ofnew equipment from components. Porous materials as a media for thermoform molds will be explored,as will specific mold-making machinery: CNC machines or components, depositional printer emulators,and related rapid-prototypers.
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