Browse Prior Art Database

Thermal Braille Transducer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035107D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Casey, D: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method by which braille characters can be produced for use in a real time output device [*].

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Thermal Braille Transducer

Disclosed is a method by which braille characters can be produced for use in a real time output device [*].

Currently braille cells are produced via electro-mechanical means. These mechanical systems are often costly and complicated to produce. This invention describes a simple system which does not rely on cams, switches, solenoids, or other mechanical systems to move braille pins.

This invention produces braille by coupling a moving pin (which is sensed by the user as a single braille dot) to a thermal snap disc. Six or more may be used concurrently to form braille characters and with proper arrangement one could envision large arrays which could produce a full screen display in braille.

The braille pins are attached to the center of the snap disc as shown in the figure. When current is applied to the heater, the disc snaps and the pin is pushed beyond the cover the desired amount (depends on the size snap disc selected).

Due to the small distance above the cover the pin must be raised to meet the braille standard (.019" +/- .001"); this is well within the limits of snap disc technology. The snap discs are thermally coupled to a substrate (ceramic or other suitable material) which contains heating elements (e.g., resistive heaters). As the disc(s) are heated they produce the desired movement of the braille pin. This method also eliminates the electro-magnetic interference encountered when using solenoids. References * "Seeing Eye Mous...