Digital Optic Device

A robotics team of high-school students, The Ramen Club, is working to design a device called a Digital Optic Guide that helps serve the needs of people who are blind.  Our final design is going to be a glove with multiple buttons on the fingers that serves as a remote which can be connected to different devices, such as the phone, TV, or household appliances.  We have considered multiple designs, mainly pertaining to that of an electronic guide dog, called a Digital Optic Device.  You can see a previous version of this page here, where we describe the Digital Optic Device.

Timeline and Goals

Our goal is to finish the designing process in June, including a full CAD design (using SolidWorks software), start the build process in July, and to test and revise in August.  We have already begun our CAD software and hope to present it at the Technology Fair in the Bay Area.

Research and Outreach

In order to truly cater to what our target audience wants, however, it is most important that we involve our audience.  Therefore, we are reaching out to multiple organizations who are interested in assisting the blind. On Tuesday, June 12, our team went to the Palo Alto Vista Center for the Blind and Visually impaired.  There, we interviewed Mrs. Serughetti-Waxman, who helped to answer multiple research questions, included in the footnote.  She informed us of existing software and the main goals of those with blind and visual impairments (i.e. gaining independence) and sent us multiple resources to reach out to.

We have received a response from one of our organizations and may request feedback on our design from people with visual impairments or experts in the field.


*Originally, our prompt was to create a robotic service dog that could fulfill functions that a service dog could not.

Research questions:

1. What are some struggles you encounter on a daily basis?

2. How do you address those struggles?

3. Could you describe a normal day in your life?

4. What do you feel is the most important interaction a guide dog should have with its owner?

5. Do you have any suggestions or ideas for what you would want to see in our digital optic guide?

6. What are some of the main struggles you run into when working with a guide dog?

7. What invention or tool would you most like to see on the market? Could you please describe it.

8. What are some advantages that you think technology may be able to provide that a guide dog cannot?

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