RIT students designed and built an interactive game for a visually impaired 9-year-old that won first place in the 2009 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Student Design Awards contest.
The team from RIT was awarded $5,000 for the hand-held device. Students incorporated an LCD display, tactile feedback motors, stereo speakers and a simple user interface to build a model that was both fun and focused on a 9-year-old’s sensory development.
A local physician contacted RIT to design and build a handheld game to help a patient with a visual impairment, says Jesse Muszynski, a sixth-year electrical engineering student and member of the RIT IEEE student chapter.
The child recognized shadows, lights and color but had difficulty reading a book. The purpose of the game was to offer entertainment during office visits as the doctor and parents discussed the child’s progress.
The device consisted of a series of oversized “action” buttons, an analog volume control with a headphone jack and a power button. The child selected a series of games developed by the team by inserting separate game cartridges of a maze, an avoidance game or a modified version of the popular video game, Simon.