Hardware-based text-to-braille translation
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Braille, as a special written method of communication for the blind, has been globally accepted for years. It gives blind people another chance to learn and communicate more efficiently with the rest of the world. It also makes possible the translation of printed languages into a written language which is recognisable for blind people. Recently, Braille is experiencing a decreasing popularity due to the use of alternative technologies, like speech synthesis. However, as a form of literacy, Braille is still playing a significant role in the education of people with visual impairments. With the development of electronic technology, Braille turned out to be well suited to computer-aided production because of its coded forms. Software based text-to-Braille translation has been proved to be a successful solution in Assistive Technology (AT). However, the feasibility and advantages of the algorithm reconfiguration based on hardware implementation have rarely been substantially discussed. A hardware-based translation system with algorithm reconfiguration is able to supply greater throughput than a software-based system. Further, it is also expected as a single component integrated in a multi-functional Braille system on a chip.Therefore, this thesis presents the development of a system for text-to-Braille translation implemented in hardware. Differing from most commercial methods, this translator is able to carry out the translation in hardware instead of using software. To find a particular translation algorithm which is suitable for a hardware-based solution, the history of, and previous contributions to Braille translation are introduced and discussed. It is concluded that Markov systems, a formal language theory, were highly suitable for application to hardware based Braille translation. Furthermore, the text-to-Braille algorithm is reconfigured to achieve parallel processing to accelerate the translation speed. Characteristics and advantages of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), and application of Very High Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language (VHDL) are introduced to explain how the translating algorithm can be transformed to hardware. Using a Xilinx hardware development platform, the algorithm for text-to-Braille translation is implemented and the structure of the translator is described hierarchically.
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Zhang, Xuan; Ortega-Sanchez, Cesar; Murray, Iain (2007)This paper describes a fast text to Braille translator based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Compared with most commercial methods, this translator is able to carry out the translation in hardware instead of ...
Zhang, Xuan; Ortega-Sanchez, Cesar; Murray, Iain (2006)This paper describes the hardware implementation of a text to Braille Translator using Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Different from most commercial software-based translators, thecircuit presented is able to ...
Zhang, Xuan; Ortega-Sanchez, Cesar; Murray, Iain (2006)This paper describes the hardware implementation of a text to Braille Translator using Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Different from most commercial software-based translators, the circuit presented in this paper ...