Prototype components for ‘Jot A Dot’ portable Braille writer

Made by Quantum Technology Pty Ltd in Rydalmere, New South Wales, Australia, 1997-2005.

This prototype was made during the design and development process for the Jot A Dot portable Braille writer. The Jot A Dot is the blind person’s equivalent of a notebook and pen. It is a small plastic Braille writer designed for making quick notes in Braille. Unlike other conventional Braille writers it is lightweight and easily portable. The full alphabet is achieved through hitting various combinations of the six keys. The Jot A Dot enables regular braille writing from the left hand side of th...

Summary

2006/54/2
Prototype components (13), for 'Jot A Dot' portable Braille writer, plastic photopolymer / metal, designed and made by Quantum Technology Pty Ltd, Rydalmere, New South Wales, Australia, 1997-2006

Transluscent plastic parts for Jot A Dot portable Braille writer including the external housings, keys, and internal components. Some parts have been annotated in ink.

Production

The Jot a Dot prototypes were designed and made by Quantum Technology at Rydalmere, New South Wales, between 1997 and 2005.

The prototype was made during the design and development process for the Jot A Dot portable Braille writer. It was made from photopolymer using stereolithography rapid prototyping (SLA). Stereolithography uses data from a 3D computer model to build plastic parts or objects a layer at a time by tracing a laser beam on the surface of a vat of liquid photopolymer. This material quickly solidifies wherever the laser beam strikes the surface of the liquid. Once a layer is completely traced, it is lowered a small distance into the vat and the second layer is traced on top of the first. The self-adhesive property of the material causes the layers to bond to one another and eventually form a complete three dimensional object after many layers are formed.

The idea for the Jot A Dot began in 1987 with a student project at Quantum Technology, but was not pursued because Quantum was busy developing and launching the Mountbatten Brailler around 1990. The six key design used on the Jot A Dot was first used by Quantum on the Mountbatten Brailler. The full alphabet is achieved through various combinations of hitting the keys.

For over ten years a number of different people at Quantum worked on the idea for a simple, portable, mechanical device for writing Braille. Around 1997 more effort began to develop the Jot A Dot idea into a marketable product. The external form of the device resulted from the need to incorporate an internal paper roll and pin head components. Early prototypes were made using stereolithography (SLA) technology and used to test the design. The action of the brailler is based on the mechanism of a simple hole punch.

The Jot A Dot enables regular braille writing from the left hand side of the page to the right hand side. The keys have been shaped to cater to the widest possible hand size and shape, and are based on sound ergonomic principle. The user can read as they write, by turning the Jot a Dot over and reading the Braille just typed on the underside of the device.

The Jot a Dot includes an inbuilt reading stand, which keeps it stable when resting on hard surfaces. The Jot a Dot has high contrast colours and uses standard paper.

Jot a Dot enables regular Braille writing from the left hand side of the page to the right, a major advance in simple manual Braille writing. It has both line and cell indicators. The cell indicator shows the position of the embossing head on the line. The line indicator gives instant feedback on which line you are writing. This means that if you need to go back to something you can ensure it is lined up properly on the Jot-A-Dot's typing row.

The Braille is formed by the six pins located on the pin head. When the keys are depressed the corresponding pins in the head press into the die, embossing the paper to create a Braille cell. The head then moves along the row to the next cell, driven by the internal spring mechanism.

The Jot A Dot is a one-piece construction, which means there are no parts that can be lost. It weighs 350g, so it's easy to carry. The device was assembled by Quantum Technology in Rydalmere from locally made parts. Achieving the required tolerances and dimensions of the plastic parts was a challenge in the initial stages of production.

Specifications:
Dimensions: 20.5 x 11 x 5.5 cm.
Weight: 350g.
Paper: Use normal photocopy paper(80 GSM Bond or 20lb).
Fits A5 and A6 paper sizes.
Braille: 20 cells of braille per line.
Quantum Technology Pty Ltd 1997-2005

Source

Gift of Quantum Technology Pty Ltd, 2006
17 April, 2006

Cite this Object

Prototype components for 'Jot A Dot' portable Braille writer 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 September 2017, <https://ma.as/358564>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/358564 |title=Prototype components for 'Jot A Dot' portable Braille writer |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 September 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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