The “Hands on Search Machine” was developed by Yahoo Japan to turn web search into a useful and tactile tool for visually impaired children. The machine is shaped like a giant cloud (get it?) and allows the children to search for any item and then 3D prints that item for them to touch. The machine combines voice recognition technology with a MakerBot 3D printer.
The machine was introduced to the Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired, which is affiliated with the University of Tsukuba. The 3D data is provided by a range of companies including; Nissan Motor, amana and Tokyo Sky Tree. If no results can be found the machine posts ads to find appropriate models. It’s amazing to see how happy the kids are when they can touch and feel the 3D printed model of their search item. We love it!
Check out the video below to see how the product works and read more about it here.