I have been doing my summer intern for MakaAbility Lab, Washington University since May, 2020.
My research group now focus on creating a design space for digital fabricable tactile patterns as well as developing a set of software and machine to arrange and fabricate the next-generation tactile paving automatically. I’m mainly responsible for pattern designing, developing the software tool. I also participate in designing user experiment for the visual impaired.
Indoor navigation is very challenging for people who are visually impaired. Navigation tools have been developed to serve as assistants for the blind. However, users have to install apps in advance and many indoor space doesn’t support smart speakers for navigation. Thus, we come up with design a end-to-end system for designing and fabricating indoor tactile paving.
We design new fabricable tactile patterns for paving based on existing tactile paving design rules and literature reviews on tactile feedback for BVI people. Then we develop a paving plan tool that coordinates with the printing machine to design and plan the paving path in an indoor environment and allows the user to select the patterns to be printed. A movable tactile paving printing machine is made that creates robust tactile paving on the various floors of materials. At the last stage, we plan to recruit volunteers to test our tactile pavin in several conceptual user scenarios that demonstrate the potential use of tactile paving created with our tool and machine.