During STEM II, we work in groups to build a assistive technology device. Through this project, we learn about engineering and design process with the goal of helping individuals within our community.

The Paper Crane: An Automated Page Turning Device
Problem Statement and Project Summary:

Turning the page of a traditional, paper-paged book requires significant fine motor skills. A reader must have the ability to separate pages, turn a page, and flatten it to begin reading again. For many with motor impairments, especially relating to their hands or hand-eye coordination, this task can be extremely difficult. Existing page turning assistive devices are inconvenient, slow, and expensive. Many of these devices still require significant effort to move pages from the user, thereby nullifying its intended helpful effects. Our team aims to design and construct an assistive device that can turn pages quickly and safely, while remaining cost efficient and reducing active effort from the user.

Despite the variety of available high-tech entertainment, reading a physical printed book still provides an unparalleled sense of calm and pleasure. Books provide an enjoyable pastime that quenches the thirst for knowledge and serves as an enjoyable activity that greatly improves the quality of life. Individuals with physical impairments should have the tools necessary for them to read independently without being restricted to audiobooks or e-books. Although there are numerous devices currently available to assist in turning pages of a book, many of these devices are expensive, complex, and/or require the user to have a certain amount of physical dexterity. To improve the reading experience for individuals with physical disabilities, we aim to develop a device that assists a user in turning the pages of a book without requiring significant effort from the user. The device is targeted towards people with motor impairments, particularly in their hands, wrists, and arms.
Target Audience:

The target audience includes those with movement-related disabilities. This device is intended to be used by those specifically dealing with motor impairments, however, the product would also have the ability to be used by the general public as well. This device will serve the purpose of helping a user to turn pages of a book in an effective and timely manner. The audience is anyone who needs assistance with turning pages. This can be someone with a cognitive motor disability, or somebody with a physical disability. It is meant to be used for a broad range of applications, and can be used by anyone who feels that they would be benefited by the device. It will likely be used with either simple to use large buttons, one for forward and another for backwards, or with eye motion tracking control, which will use the top left and top right hand corners to signal movement backwards and forwards respectively. The goal user experience is a simple to use, intuitive, and smooth reading experience where the page turning does not hinder the experience of reading, including the page, or damage the book in any way.
Final Device:

Our current approach utilizes a wheel attached to an arm and controlled by a motor to flip the pages of the book. The wheel is located at the top of the arm and is placed on the uppermost part of the page. The length of this arm can be changed by using the black clamp. The clamp can be opened and closed and the arm can be both shortened and lengthened through this method. This adjustable arm allows our device to accommodate numerous different book sizes of varying lengths. The buttons located on top of the box direct a user to choose either forwards or backwards, depending on where they would like to read in the book. Depending on what direction they choose, the arm will move either left or right and lie parallel to the book. Additionally, the clamp located on the side of the book in the direction of the arm will raise to allow the page to be flipped. A motor then causes the wheel to rotate. The force of the wheel applied on the page will cause the formation of a crease in the page. The clamp located on the other side of the page then raises as the arm moves to a vertical position. The original raised clamp is then lowered to prevent the arm from flipping more than one page. A flipper located at the bottom of the book will then use the crease created by the wheel as leverage to flip the page. Finally, the clamp located on the side the page will flip to will be lowered.
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