Sixteen year olds are always busy making great inventions, right?
Arsh Dilbagi from India is a finalist in the Google Science Fair 2014 with a device that is possibly going to change the lives of many people with developmental disabilities.
Arsh's invention, called TALK, is a new AAC device that let's a person with speech impairment and/or developmental disability to talk by using just their breath. The device has a sensor that is placed right below the nose or mouth, depending on the user. The user then breathes on the sensor in two types of bursts - a short burst for a dot and a longer burst for a dash. Yes, you guessed it right - this device is based on the Morse Code. These dots and dashes are then processed and converted into phrases and sentences by the internal processor and then sent to another processor that outputs the sentences into voice.
TALK has two modes - one for communicating which is in English, and the other to gives specific commands which can be outputted in nine different languages and accents according to gender and age group. Arsh suggests that the price of TALK is only approximately $80 whereas other AAC devices that are generally used by people with motor-neuro disabilities can cost upward of $7,000. One significant advantage of this device is that since it is so small (the size of a cell phone), it can be carried by people with them all the time. They will also not be bound to a wheelchair to be able to use it. Another advantage is that people will not be twitching their muscles all the time thus causing muscle strains etc.
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On a single charge, TALK can run for more than two days and is quite comfortable to wear.
Visit Arsh's Google Science Fair 2014 page to learn more about him and his project in greater detail. Don't forget to watch the videos below to get an understanding of what TALK does.