Development of Tactile Globe for the Visually Impaired (Automation of Marking Using an Industrial Robot)
Naoki Asakawa*,†, Ryota Kito**, and Keigo Takasugi*
Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-1192, Japan
**Nakamura-Tome Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
Ro15 Netsuno, Hakusan, Ishikawa 920-2195, Japan
In spite of the importance of the globe as an educational and cultural tool, for visually impaired users, common globes are just spherical objects. Although there are commercially available globes for visually impaired users, globes that have convex and concave features on the surface denoting coastlines and country borders, most of them are expensive because they are made by hand. Consequently, visually impaired users wishing to purchase globes have a very limited range of choices. In terms of industrial production, producing globes with convex and concave surfaces essentially involves machining a spherical surface. For instance, with common machine tools, even positioning or marking a spherical surface of a certain size is very difficult operation since the posture of the tool must change dramatically. The purpose of the study is to develop a CAM system to design the surface of tactile globes suitable for individual needs and to manufacture them for the visually impaired at low cost and with a short lead time. In the report, as the first step, a method of holding the sphere and marking it via 3D-CAD/CAM technology and the control technology of an industrial robot is proposed. As a result, the system enables the marking of the coastlines and country borders on spheres automatically using our own CAM system and an industrial robot.
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