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Engineer develops a smart canvas to help persons with disabilities to paint

Shared by sara.di.fabio@p... on 2020-05-29 12:46

About the solution

Elaine was born premature and with cerebral palsy, a lifelong physical disability that affects both movement and posture. Elaine enjoys painting, using a paintbrush held in her mouth and with the help of volunteers at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS) who help her to move the canvas and dispense paint. When a team of engineers met Elaine, they decided to develop an e-canvas to help her painting.

In August 2018, a team led by Dr Ong Lay Teen, visited CPAS to discuss how to apply new technologies to help those with a physical disability. “We were introduced to Elaine and were told that she is a mouth painter,” Dr Ong said. “It all began from there when we saw her passion to paint.”

The team build the e-canvas, a voice-controlled device that would provide greater independence to Elaine. The eCanvas is a motorised aluminium frame that clamps onto a drawing canvas and moves the canvas so the painter can reach it. A microphone connected to the eCanvas is used to give voice commands, like to move or dispense paint on a palette. A mini-computer installed with a pre-trained neural network engine processes the voice commands.

The pain dispenser consists of a number of soap dispensers that had been repurposed to release paint onto a turn table which acts as the palette.

“We imagined that the solution would be this or that,” said Dr Ong, “but when we tested the eCanvas on-site, we realised that we had to change the design for it to be more applicable to Elaine.”

The team built a custom system to recognise only a few keywords for better performance. To increase the system’s accuracy, Elaine’s voice was added into the mix when training the device. The voice control system interface was designed to provide seamless user experience for Elaine: she has to say a specific command for the desired action to occur.

Adapted from: https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/this-govtech-team-built-an-ecanva...
More information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTio3SsVMvc&feature=emb_title

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DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com

About the author

Dr Ong Lay Teen from Singapore is a Senior System Engineer at the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech). She visited the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS) where she met Elaine Eng (2000) who suffers from cerebral palsy but loves to paint. Dr Ong Lay Teen and her team decided to build an eCanvas to give Elaine independence while painting.

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