Sunday, April 24, 2011

AKSHAR TAAL- interactive learning blocks for kids

Akshar Taal’ as the name suggests is an attempt to help kids learn vernacular languages on their own. These interactive blocks give a real time audio and video feedback as and when the blocks are connected with the given platform. The idea behind these interactive blocks is: learn while you play.
Working: Each of the blocks has a different value resistor which when connected to the circuit gives a pre-coded output through processing and arduino.

3D Model of Akshar taal


In the final display only one word-working prototype was displayed. The design of the box is with only three groves for the main alphabet and in front of them three more groves for the matra, which are in acrylic.
The design of the box is to be modified further according to the dictionary and the longest word formed.

The project is ongoing as a dictionary has to be formed and then combined with the software such that one can make words in any combination. The design of the box is to be modified further according to the dictionary and the longest word formed.


Akshar Taal works on a very simple reading of the resistor of the blocks with specific value that is read by the arduino board and processing. When the user puts the block in the grove that has brass plate in the base touches the copper wire of the blocks the circuit completes and gives an audio-visual feedback to the user.


Now the first step was to understand the technicalities it would have and how I can overcome them. Then to test the resistor in the block and the base together and if they give any value on multi meter. The material exploration was equally important as the blocks should be safe for kids to use without any guidance.


As the project moved further a lot of refinement and changes came along one of which was changing from English block to vernacular language - Hindi. The constraint with Hindi was of the matra’s that come on all the four sides of an alphabet. This gave me a further challenge as what all words will be formed. There are 49 alphabets with matra’s in Hindi language. 
The blocks were further modified and instead metal cooper wire was used.
Now a word limit and a dictionary of three letter words in hindi to teach the kids was proposed.


The process of prototyping an idea about the material is achieved and the possibility of how it will work ahead. During prototyping material constrains are understood. For eg aluminum cannot be soldered so i had to use brass then refined it to copper wire. The placement of the alphabets and matra became clear. The blocks were made in MDF.
To prototype groves of three letter and three matras were made on the prototyping base plate of the blocks.
The matras were made in acrylic so that the letter behind is visible. Matras were printed on the corner of the acrylic unlike the MDF blocks who had the alphabets (swar, vyanjan) in centre.

Student: Nivedita Ganjoo

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