BENGALURU: A team of engineering students has developed a glove that converts sign language into voice, helping people with speech impairment communicate better.
The smart glove, named Mudra ,converts gestures recognised under Indian sign language into spoken English.
The prototype was developed by the students of Amrita School of Engineering — Abhijith Bhaskaran, Anoop G Nair, Deepak Ram and Krishnan Ananthanarayanan — as part of their final year project.
“In Sanskrit, mudra means gesture,” says Krishnan.
The idea for the project was born when the students were discussing the problems faced by the differently-abled. “As engineers, we wanted to give back to society. That is how we came up with this idea,” says Anoop.
Explaining how the device works, he says, “The flex sensor in the glove predicts the orientation of the fingers. The gyrometer, accelerometer and magnometer predict the movements of the hand in a 3D space. The sensor processes this data and produces audio output through the speaker.”
“We will start developing the device in two to three weeks,” he adds.
The team took 16 weeks to build the prototype and spent Rs 7,500. The glove can currently recognise numbers 1 to 10, and gestures corresponding to words such as morning, night, goodbye and thank you.
It can detect four different positions of each finger, and as many as 70 gestures can be configured. “We have begun validating its social feasibility. The preliminary results are very encouraging,” says Abhijith.
A lot of research went into the project, chips in Deepak. “We didn’t know how to go about it at first. We then studied about various sensors, their uses and the materials that can be used.”
The team claims that there are no side effects of using this glove and it is as comfortable as a riding glove.
H R Nandi Vardhan, assistant professor, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, mentored the team. “Initially, we thought of using a camera. But we realised that the cameras would be expensive and non-portable.”
While the gloves are only in the prototype stage, the team is looking for people to invest in the product. Once the cost is minimised, it can hit the markets.