author
2Instructables26,852Views58CommentsSwindon, UKJoined August 8th, 2016
IT / CAD Professional with keen amateur interest in technology for the visually impaired.

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  • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'

    Thank you Tsu Dho Nimh!

    many thanks for the great feedback OculumForamen.I already run my own IT company (working for a number of clients including a number of visually impaired people), and also work more-or-less full time for a company that connects generation projects (solar, wind, biomass, diesel, battery storage etc.) to the national grid. My time is thus pretty full! I enjoy dreaming up these devices and hope that they inspire others.I think that the real goal should be to get manufacturers to consider the visually impaired when designing their products. Built-in speech or a standard interface that can be used to communicate with external speech devices (such as Amazon's Alexa devices) would be great.Regarding the dryer, the low tech 'bumpon' solution works well as the control knob is a traditional ty...

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    many thanks for the great feedback OculumForamen.I already run my own IT company (working for a number of clients including a number of visually impaired people), and also work more-or-less full time for a company that connects generation projects (solar, wind, biomass, diesel, battery storage etc.) to the national grid. My time is thus pretty full! I enjoy dreaming up these devices and hope that they inspire others.I think that the real goal should be to get manufacturers to consider the visually impaired when designing their products. Built-in speech or a standard interface that can be used to communicate with external speech devices (such as Amazon's Alexa devices) would be great.Regarding the dryer, the low tech 'bumpon' solution works well as the control knob is a traditional type that has a fixed relationship between angular position and drying programme.We recently bought a dishwasher that has an individual button for each programme so it is accessible to Sue.Watch this space for my next device for the visually impaired...

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  • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'

    Many thanks Dave. Hopefully if the assistive tech competition goes ahead there may be some clones / developments of SOAP. Still no word from Samsung...

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  • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'

    Hello oyeka. You would have to have a sensor on each door. I suggest something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magnetic-Sensor-Window-Wa...Such a sensor would replace an LDR. As long as the input voltage to the UNO changes from <3V to >3V the system would be able to detect the open / close state of the door.The code would have to be modified - the SOAP code relies on the fact that only one of the fourteen LEDs is illuminated at a given moment. Maybe you are planning on a Chatterbox for each door?If you do build the door announcer, please post it as an Instructable! Reminds me of something:"All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well...

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    Hello oyeka. You would have to have a sensor on each door. I suggest something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magnetic-Sensor-Window-Wa...Such a sensor would replace an LDR. As long as the input voltage to the UNO changes from <3V to >3V the system would be able to detect the open / close state of the door.The code would have to be modified - the SOAP code relies on the fact that only one of the fourteen LEDs is illuminated at a given moment. Maybe you are planning on a Chatterbox for each door?If you do build the door announcer, please post it as an Instructable! Reminds me of something:"All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done."" As the door closed behind them it became apparent that it did indeed have a satisfied sigh-like quality to it. “Hummmmmmmyummmmmmm ah!” it said."— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

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  • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'

    Thank you Cotekino. I wanted a non-invasive solution because we have a 3 year warranty on the machine and I did not want to invalidate this.It would be a lot easier if the device was wired to the washing machine!I did email Samsung over a week ago but I have had no reply. I also emailed Velleman, but also no reply...

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  • Wingletang commented on randofo's forum topic Welcome to Instructables18 days ago

    I had the same problem - I was using Internet Explorer 11. When I switched to Edge, all was OK.

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  • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'

    Thank you Azayles. That is a very interesting thought. I will have to investigate.The sensor was the most difficult part to make, requiring a number of tweaks including the light tight cover. I actually bought some photo diodes a few weeks ago to carry out some experiments.At the moment I am working on my next piece of assistive tech - watch this space!

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    • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'
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  • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'

    Amazing! I really uploaded this Instructable expecting people to take elements of the project for use in different situations and models of washing machine and other appliances. It now seems that you may end up duplicating SOAP in its entirety.The hardest part of the project was designing and constructing the sensor - it did take a lot of tweaking but it worked AOK in the end.Sue and I have been to Sight Village many times but will not be able to make it this year. We used to produce a cassette tape magazine for Dolphin Computer Access called 'The Whistler' so we were involved with Dolphin and a lot of other access tech companies.

    Many thanks James.

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  • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'

    Thank you zlotaraczka. Even if manufacturers included an interface or WiFi connection so that a speech box can be added that would be OK.

    Thank you Mushroomsouperman! Seems the replies have got mixed up. Sue, Pete (Wingletang) & Milly.

    I think Sue believes that I only built this to get out of doing the washing :)Seriously, Sue loves any device or technique that helps her to be independent.

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  • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'

    Hi Steve. That is what we thought initially, but it turns out that it starts at the wash programme that last ran through to conclusion. In principle, you could use the bumps if you can remember the last programme you ran, but that can be difficult if it was a while ago. Also, if the control is inadvertently turned when the machine is off, then the bumps are misaligned.I suspect that it is the way it is in case the power goes off half way through a programme.Believe me, we did try to think of a low tech solution. On the plus side I had great fun building SOAP!

    Wow! Many thanks vegatek. I think there are many fantastic Instructables - this site is an incredible resource of ideas and solutions. The site staff do an incredible job.

    Thanks Pauline. I will have to work on the blind 10 Pin Bowling aiming system next! (Sue and Pauline are involved in NBTBA - National Blind Ten Pin Bowling Association in the UK. For more about this see www.swindonbats.org )

    You are welcome! Many thanks AIS11.

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  • Wingletang followed Tarantula326 days ago
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  • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'

    Milly is good at cat scanning, but she is trained to ignore them when she is working as Sue's guide. For more info on Guide Doge (aka Seeing Eye Dogs in the US) see www.guidedogs.org.uk

    Many thanks gustavfunke.

    Many thanks Andrew. I initially thought that the Instructable was too long, but I wanted to detail all of the steps as it may help others to avoid pitfalls.

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  • Talking Washing Machine Interface for the Blind AKA 'SOAP'

    Thank you RaymondR6 - I am ahead of you in that I emailed the CEO of Samsung yesterday! Adding a speech chip to such appliances would cost little to a big manufacturer and would open up a whole new market - there are a lot of visually impaired people in the world. In the case of Samsung, they already have speech technology - Sue has a Galaxy watch that was accessible out of the box just by turning on 'Voice Assistant'.

    Thank you ardu11. Hopefully it will encourage others to create useful asistive devices.

    Hi ayavilevich.Thank you - I have entered it in the contest but it has not been approved yet. Hopefully it will be there soon!

    Thank you pcarew. Sue has now coming up with an idea for the next project - watch this space!

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  • Wingletang commented on lonesoulsurfer's instructable Resistor Organizer and Storage4 months ago
    Resistor Organizer and Storage

    Good solution that looks elegant. I created a storage system based on wash pod boxes and inverted zip lock bags! For details see my Instructables page. Storage density is, however, less than your method.

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  • Wingletang commented on mikeasaurus's instructable Unusual Uses Ziploc Bags8 months ago
    Unusual Uses Ziploc Bags

    Great ideas! If you turn the bags upside down, other applications appear - see my Instructable 'Small Component Storage From Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pods Box'.

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  • Small Component Storage From Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pods Box

    Full link to RNIB PenFriend 2:https://shop.rnib.org.uk/new-rnib-penfriend2-voice...

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  • Small Component Storage From Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pods Box

    Many thanks! I am finding the system works well and has been invaluable during the build of my next Instructable. Watch this space!

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  • Small Component Storage From Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pods Box

    Hi MichaelAtOz. Here in the UK there is a effort to get retailers to stop selling plastic cotton buds: www.cottonbudproject.org.uk

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  • Small Component Storage From Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pods Box

    Looking forward to seeing pictures!

    many thanks!

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    • Small Component Storage From Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pods Box
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  • Small Component Storage From Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pods Box

    Hi EldarM1. Please upload a photo when you have built your own version of my little idea!

    Many thanks!

    Hi timeman2.Glad you find the idea useful. My wife is totally blind so I enjoy find novel ways to help her. Whilst this particular Instructable was not aimed specifically at helping her, it came about as I am developing an electronic device for the visually impaired that will feature in my next submission. I found that I was collecting a large number of resistors etc. hence the need to get organised!

    Thanks dlebryk. My original idea was to use 88mm balsawood strips glued to the bags at the top, but woke up one morning with the slide binder/upside down idea fully formed. Good old subconcoious!

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  • Wingletang followed DmitryDzz1 year ago
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  • Small Component Storage From Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pods Box

    Hi mimorr - Great idea - I have been concentrating on getting my electronic components in order. I will definitely be making extra storage boxes for my nails and screws.

    Hi ianjuby. My wife is totally blind so we have a lot of experience of access tech and labelling. You could use a braille Dymo labeller - the clips are wide enough to take the tape. Alternatively, consider a 'PenFriend' available from the RNIB in the UK. This is a pen like device that allows the user to record a short audio clip assigning it to a special self adhesive label. When the pen is later touched on the label the relevant audio clip is played back. It can store clips for hundreds of labels so could easily cover the many resistor values. Very useful device in many situations and only costs about £85. www.rnib.org.uk/shop

    Thanks Provadance! That last sentence is so going to be my email signature :)

    You are very welcome. So far over 4000 people have looked at this so hopefully we have taken 16x4000 cotton buds out of the enviroment...

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  • Wingletang followed Microcontrollers and Organizing channel 1 year ago
  • Small Component Storage From Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pods Box

    Hi orgamiunicorn - Thanks for the nice comment. I have not found this to be a problem as the resistors are very lightweight. In fact, the grip locks are very tight so can be a bit difficult to open!

    Hi JoshuaGuess. Perhaps we can design an Ariel Pods storage solution to free up the box :)

    Many thanks gm280. This is my first published Instructable so the positive feedback is very encouraging!

    Thanks ptjj999. Your system looks far more compact than my solution.

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