A 16 year old high school student called Arsh Shah Dilbagi invented a portable device that converts breath into speech. This affordable device helps people suffering from different disabilities like Parkinson’s or ALS to communicate using their breath.
A few words about Arsh Shah Dilbagi
My name is Arsh Shah Dilbagi and I like being called Robo. I’m 16 and studying in 12th Grade at DAV Public School, Panipat, India. By heart I’m a Roboticist and love ‘Making Things’ but every now and then I figure out time to support my other hobbies – Photography, Cinematography, Web Designing, 3D Modelling & Rendering and Swimming. I’ve always been fascinated by the power of Science and Mathematics. In 2010 my parents gifted me a LEGO Mindstorms Kit and since then I have never stopped making & learning. I conceived and designed a working prototype of an Autonomous UGV for which I was honored by the President of India. I won IRO 2010 at National Level, IRO 2011 and FLL 2011 at Regional Level. I have also made a Home Automation System using Arduino, WordPress Plugin and designed a Quizzing Social Network. I’m maintaining my own website – http://robo.im.
Question and Proposal
I was forced to think myself that in the world of technology isn’t there a better and affordable solution? An AAC device which can be used by people suffering from any kind of speech disorder. A device which is generic, affordable, has faster speaking rate, portable and consumes less power.
After quite some research, I hypothesised that a pressure sensor can be used to monitor variations in breath and generate two distinguishable signals. These signals can be further processed as a binary language and synthesised into speech accordingly.
The research was divided into 2 major parts – Exploring Merits and Demerits of current AAC Devices and Finding ways by which people with Developmental-Disabilities can interact with the device.
The research implied the exploration of Merits and Demerits of Current AAC Devices like: Simple Single Access Scanning Devices, Head Mouse and Eye Trackers and Brain Computer Interface (BCI).
Conclusion and Report
Talk has definitely outlived the expectations and has come out as a device far better than the proposed one. It is quite Light and Portable being just 10x6x2 cm in dimensions and weighs not more than a regular smartphone. On a single charge it runs for more than 2 days and is quite comfortable to wear. It takes only 0.8sec to dictate the letter ‘A’ and 0.4sec for the letter ‘E’ using Talk, making it the fastest AAC device in the world. Talk can be made available at less than $100, making it the most affordable. With an accuracy of almost 100% and innovative features – 9 voices (male/female) for different age groups, 2 modes (communication/command-phrases) and encoding there is nothing which can compete with features of the device. Talk uses Breath as the medium of interaction between the user and device which also makes it unique as it has been never done before.
For more informations please read the official Project Page.