Feature Writer John Christie – New Machine Brings Magic to Blind Children in Japanese School for the Blind

A new machine is being used at the Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired in Tokyo, Japan. The machine actually prints toys for blind children. The machine operates by Voice search and 3-D printing.

The machine was first invented by Yahoo! Japan. The company’s designers put a 3-D printer into a bulbous, cloud-like housing and outfitted it with a voice based user interface. The machine also has a database of toys. The way the machine operates is the children at the school will shout out a toy that they want and the machine will spit out the plastic toy. Once the plastic toy is spit out of the machine, a teacher peels the extra plastic off the printed product. The children can request a variety of toys including giraffes, unicorns, trucks, buildings, bugs, dinosaurs and so forth by pressing a big button. This is really like having your wishes come true with a magic lamp.

The idea of this machine was conceived by Osamu Aranami, head of Yahoo! Japan’s advertisement division. “I believe innovation comes from the combination of old things,” he said.

This technology is not old but will be useful in a variety of situations. With this voice recognition device and 3-D printer you would be able to make a replacement battery cover for your TV remote.

Getting back to the kids at the blind school in Japan, they don’t care about the complexities of the machine. All they care about is the toys it spits out.

This machine is amazing. It’s like a magic lamp spitting out toys for the children. It’s also good that this product will be useful for everyone as it will be able to make replacement parts for a number of products.

Source: http://www.wired.com/design/2013/10/this-amazing-machine-gives-blind-kids-any-toy-they-want/#slideid-269511

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