Engineering is an extraordinary field that allows for never-before-seen advancements in technology that help to develop the world we live in. Compassionate engineering places people and communities first, prioritising their needs above anything else while developing and designing technology. The wide availability of said technology is the end goal, to allow everyone who needs it to be able to use it.
Having a connection with the people who the technology is developed for is at the heart of compassionate technology, instead of simply developing it behind a computer.
Tactile Maps for the Visually Disabled
The desire to help others is what drove Tyler Wooten, engineering student at Texas A&M University, to apply his newly learnt 3D printing skills. The 3D printing class Wooten took at the Engineering Innovation Center (EIC) would propel him to help change the lives of visually disabled students on campus.
His idea – to create a 3D map with both raised buildings and braille for visually impaired students – had the goal of aiding students in orienting themselves around campus. These maps help students to better understand size, scale, and proximity of buildings that otherwise wouldn’t be comprehended with verbal explanations.
Wooten thought his idea simple enough but he reached out to student Kaitlyn Kellermeyer, who’d worked on other similar projects, for help to construct his idea properly. The maps that started as an idea have become an engineering marvel that has turned Wooten into an entrepreneur; each map takes around 10 hours to complete, but he has demand from other universities to provide these maps for their students.
Electronic Braille Writing Tutor
M. Bernardine Dias, associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute, has spent the last decade developing an electronic Braille writing tutor. With the support of the university’s staff, students, colleagues, and the Fetzer Institute, the project has been completed successfully.
Dias has prioritised compassion in her work, directing the TechBridgeWorld research project for the last decade in order to help develop and adapt a wide variety of technology necessities for needed populations around the world.
The 10 year project of the Braille writing tutor aids visually impaired students to learn how to write Braille by using a slate and a stylus. Various versions of the Braille writing tutor have since been developed and tested in India, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Zambia, and other countries where Braille writing technology is unavailable.
The Importance of Compassionate Engineering
By focusing on the needs of communities and their visions for progress and well-being of residents, engineers are able to help develop advanced technology that both helps save lives and improve them. The Braille writing tutor, for example, is an extraordinary piece of engineering that works splendidly as an educational and diagnostic tool for both visually impaired students and teachers.
Both the software and the hardware designs to build the writing tutor are available online.
As a family business, here at Airedale Springs we strive for the highest quality of springs for manufacturers and inventors. Compassionate engineering is something we believe in – with over 70 years of experience, we ensure that our products help to better the lives of community residents all over the world.
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