There are lots of readers available to translate words printed on a paper into speech, however, according to Russel Grokett they either cost thousands of dollars, or require an Internet connection and the use of a smartphone. As he has an elderly parent struggling with eyesight issues, neither option seemed suitable, and he instead turned to the Raspberry Pi 3 for assistance.
His system, dubbed “PiTextReader,” places the Raspberry Pi in a small craft box along with a speaker and amplifier, while a Pi Camera is mounted on a metal support above. Users simply place the document on top of the box next to an alignment jig, and press a glowing green button to have it translate what is on the paper into speech. No other setup or interface is required, and the Pi can be left plugged in for easy access.
As noted in his excellent write-up, a Raspberry Pi 3 is definitely recommended for this project, as it “needs the horsepower.” It takes a few seconds to analyze the document and begin speaking. Still, for a total cost of less than $100, it’s a great use of this technology that should improve people’s lives greatly.
Be sure to check it out in the demo video below!