NIE students develop Speakster: A Smart Glove for Sign Language Interpretation
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NIE students develop Speakster: A Smart Glove for Sign Language Interpretation

January 18, 2022

Mysore/Mysuru: The ‘Speakster’ is a wearable pair of gloves, used to communicate between deaf-mute community and able person. The ‘Speakster’ tracks the movement of the hand, recognises the hand gestures and translates it into text and speech. The research of this is being done at the Mysuru-based National Institute of Engineering (NIE) including the Material and Electronics.

The project is planned in four phases. Presently, the students have completed the first phase of building the glove and the same has been proved to be able to capture the hand gesture signals and convert them to text and speech. On this concept, a paper was selected and presented in the International Conference on Future Technologies 2021 (ICOFT 2021) in Manufacturing, Automation, Design and Energy held at the National Institute of Technology, Puducherry, Karaikal, from Dec. 16 to 18, 2021. The presented paper is ranked 1st amongst the 12 selected papers in the Automation Stream, which will be published in the Springer Publication.

Prof. Bharadwaj Amrutur, Research Head and Director, ARTPARK – The Indian Institute of Science (IISc.,), appreciated the work and said “We at ARTPARK strongly feel that emerging technologies like AI and Robotics can help us solve problems that are not only unique to India but can also cater to the world. While India has a large pool of tech talent, we do not have an ecosystem to support innovations at an early stage. In order to provide guidance as well as financial assistance to college students, we launched the Innovation Grant Program last year. The innovative solution by the students of NIE, Mysuru, has made us proud and we are delighted to know that our support is helping these students to innovate and represent India on global platforms.”

He said the glove prepared by NIE is more attractive and unique compared to the similar product.

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ARTPARK (AI & Robotics Technology Park) is a not-for-profit (section-8) foundation promoted by IISc., Bengaluru and AI Foundry in a public-private collaborative model, to promote technology innovations in AI & Robotics. With seed funding from the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) and from the Government of Karnataka, the ecosystem is designed to bring about a collaborative consortium of partners from industry, academia, and Government bodies.

Among 131 proposals submitted by various institutions, only 29 proposals were selected for funding.  The ‘Speakster’ gloves for sign language interpretation proposal was submitted under Student Innovation Grant Programme during July 2021. An amount of Rs.1.8 lakh for the execution of the project and a monthly stipend of Rs.10,000 for each UG student is awarded by ARTPARK, IISc.

The project is executed by NIE students Akshay V. Nayak, B.S. Karthik, L.C. Sudhanva, and Akshay A. Ganger, 7th semester, Computer Science & Engineering Department and mentored by Dr. K.R. Prakash, Head, Centre for Automation and Robotics, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. K.S. Rekha,  Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, NIE and Dr. Ipsita Biswas Mahapatra, Lead – Academic Initiatives, ARTPARK, IISc.

The project work is supported by NIE Management, Dr. N.V. Raghavendra, Principal, Dr. V.K. Annapurna, Professor & Head, Department of Computer Science & Engineering  and  Dr. K.S. Nithin, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, NIE.

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