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dc.contributor.authorZhang, Xuan
dc.contributor.supervisorCesar Ortega-Sanchez
dc.contributor.supervisorIain Murray

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.

dc.publisherCurtin University
dc.subjectMarkov theory
dc.subjectassistive technology
dc.subjectbraille translation
dc.subjectalgorithm reconfiguration
dc.titleHardware-based text-to-braille translation
curtin.thesisTypeTraditional thesis
curtin.departmentDepartment of Computer Engineering
curtin.accessStatusOpen access

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