Client Profile: Seong-Hee Yoon, Student at the University of North Carolina and winner of the RESNA Student Design Competition

Great ideas come from many places. The idea for brailleBot, an electronic learning toy that assists educators and parents in teaching the braille alphabet to children with blindness and low vision, had been living in the mind of a student. During a senior design project, Seong-Hee Yoon and her classmates had created an initial prototype. When Seong-Hee was awarded a student internship with TREAT, she began working with an advisor to complete the Technology and Market Assessment (TMA). Her student internship awarded her a stipend, project budget, and five weeks working with the TREAT team.

Completing the TMA allowed Seong-Hee to determine whether or not competing products existed, better understand user needs, explore the opportunity for intellectual property, and discover the potential market size for the brailleBOT. She also wanted to establish a target cost that covered manufacturing, but still allowed the product to remain accessible to those who needed it.

Seong-Hee had hit the ground running with a plan to further refine the electronics that drive brailleBOT while simultaneously working with TREAT design and engineering personnel to address product design, assembly, graphics, and component sourcing. By the end of the five week period she and the team at TREAT, with the help of Thayer School of Engineering and Simbex had iterated a number of functional prototypes leading to a simple, attractive and cost-effective design that incorporated as many off-the-shelf components as possible to keep costs low.

Go to the brailleBot Website