Proposers Hugh Sasse <email@example.com>
Some people find Braille difficult to read, perhaps because
of their sense of touch or because the coding is very
abstract. Another method of tactile reading is Moon, which
is based on embossed lines, curves and circles, and where
many of the letters share characteristics of their print
counterparts, making it easy to learn.
The problem is that there is no good way to write moon
at the moment. There is a moonwriter, but it involves
drawing the characters out freehand, and it is slow,
and the results are not very good. There is also a
prototype system along the lines of a dymo tape gun,
but this is also slow as you have to dial up the character
and it only produces Moon on a strip of paper, not a
page. There is now a Moon slate and a stencil, but this
involves writing the Moon characters in reverse, and is
The aim of this project is to produce a typewriter which
will produce clear Moon. The aspects that make this
- the keyboard should be readable be a sighted,
non-Moon user, and a Moon user. A QWERTY layout
- The letters should be embossed Upwards, so that
the moon can be read while the paper or plastic
(Braillon) is in the machine.
- It should be possible to read the last character
- A rubout key would be very useful. This is however
difficult because of the importance of not damaging
the paper, and it being flat afterwards.
- The machine should be able to cope with different
sizes of paper down to postcard size -- as is
used in Braille notepads.
- The machine should cope with different grades of
paper, and plastic Braillon or OHP sheets. [The
latter take Braille very well, and would be of
use the visually impaired lecturer, as the
projector produces a lot of glare when looking
down at it.]
- Mechanisms should be added to ease paper alignment
and prevent paper leaving the machine, as in a
- The product should be usable by a deaf-blind
person -- for example, any end-of-line bell should be
such that its activation can be felt.
There should be no sharp corners or edges, or
rough surfaces on it as people with a poor sense
of touch could cut themselves and not know.
- There should be a sturdy, comfortable handle on
the unit for ease of transportation.
- Consideration should be given to the manufacturing
processes that would be used in a production
model, so that moving from the prototype to a
commercial unit would be simplified. The unit
should be able to take some physical abuse, and
should not be over 200 pounds when produced
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Last Modified on 18-NOV-96 by
James Gallagher <James@deafblind.co.uk>