From the beginning we wanted to do a project that helped out children in need. While brainstorming, one of the group members mentioned her sorority's main philanthropies being the Starkey Hearing Foundation. We decided to combine these two ideas together to make this project.
What it does
Lippy the Lip Learner helps children who are deaf or hard of hearing learn to lipread. Once a button is pressed, Lippy responds by mouthing out the word associated with the button that was pressed. This video shows the child what the word looks like, and helps them to practice to get better at reading lips.
How we built it
We used a Raspberry Pi 3 along which was connected to a breadboard which has an array of buttons and a seven inch screen. For the program itself, it was made in Python. We then took this setup and integrated it into a plushie.
Challenges we ran into
For starters, the transition from going from in person to online hackathons was a challenge at first. However, as time progressed, we all got used to it and was able to show off our project. Initially we were going to use a smaller screen, however, because we had to use the PI's GPIO pins, we had to move to a larger screen and had to increase the size of the toy itself. We also ran into some hardware problems with the buttons, where they would register being clicked multiple times.
What we learned
We learned how to create a hack that utilizes hardware to drive Pi programs. With that, we were able to use that to our advantage to build out a better user interface.
Brian also learned how to sew
What's next for Lippy?
Currently, we only have three words that a child can learn which are bathroom, hungry, and play. In the future, we want to add more words to expand children's vocabulary. Also, there is only one design at the moment. Hopefully in the future we can create more fun and exciting designs so we have a better variety for more children.