Pranay Jain and Anshul Singhal, two graduate level students at MIT have founded Squirrel Devices, a company which provides measuring and drawing tools for Blind students in STEM courses.
The Tactile Caliper allows students to measure and draw straight lines with an accuracy of 1/16 of an inch. The Caliper is 12 inches, or 30 Centimeters, and is a mechanical device with no battery or electrical source. Amazingly, when locked in place, the device displays the measurement in braille.
There is also a Tactile Protractor, which is also mechanical. When opening it, it clicks each time you reach a degree. This makes it remarkably easy to measure an angle, or draw one as well.
From the Developer
Squirrel Devices enables Math and Science accessibility for students with blindness
Tactile Caliper (Inches)
Tactile Caliper is an instrument to measure and draw straight lines with high precision and speed. The inch’s caliper allows measurements as fine as 1/16″ up to 12″. The entire reading is displayed directly in Braille.
Tactile Caliper (Metric)
Tactile Caliper is an instrument to measure and draw straight lines with high precision and speed. The metric caliper allows measurements as fine as 1 mm up to 30 cm. The entire reading is displayed directly in Braille.
Tactile Protractor is an instrument to measure and draw angles with precision. The protractor creates a click sound at every 1° angle. The protractor can be locked in place for fast and accurate drawings.
How to Use the Tactile Caliper
1. Hold the object to be measured between the jaws
2. Read the closest inch marking from the ruler
3. Read the fraction from the Mechanical Braille Display