Dynamically codes and decodes text and braille: an invention designed by a team of high school students


hardware, software and robotics combined to make lerning braille easier

Although it is impossible to rank the disabilities based on the hardships they generate, certainly blindness can be counted among the most limiting, since we all entrust a large part of our daily activities to our eyes. Among these is written communication, which is accessed through reading. To facilitate blind people in this area, a group of high school students has created the NBM – Next Braille Machine, a device that dynamically encodes and decodes text and braille.

The group, which is called Next Nao, is made up of students from a high school (ISS Pitagora of Pozzuoli [Naples]) who have distinguished themselves for their computer skills and for their ability to design technological solutions. The high school students come from different class sections, but they immediately banded together, thanks also to their passion for technology that unites them.

The NBM is a solution that combines hardware, software, and robotics to facilitate communication in braille and its acquisition. Starting from a text, it is shown by the NBM both in dynamic Braille characters and on the display. In this way, the blind person and the assistant can both learn braille and interact with each other.  

The students worked long and hard on the design and were able to successfully build a working prototype. Come and discover the NBM – Next Braille Machine – and maybe meet its enthusiastic “makers” – at Maker Faire Rome – the European Edition 2019, the world-famous innovative technology fair that will be held from 18 to 20 October at the Fiera di Roma.