Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

First Beeping Basketball Wins Design Prize, Is Given to Students

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

First Beeping Basketball Wins Design Prize, Is Given to Students

Article excerpt

The Hadley School for the Blind, located in Illinois, recently received a unique gift: the award-winning beeping basketball prototype created by a team of electrical and computer engineering students from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terra Haute, Indiana. The beeping basketball project came about when Clyde Willian, former chair of the Hadley Board of Trustees and a current member of Rose-Hulman's board, asked Charles Young, president of Hadley School for the Blind, for ideas for an engineering project that would benefit people who are blind. Since earlier versions of audible basketballs featured bells that stopped ringing when the balls were passed through the air, Mr. Young suggested the engineering students design a basketball that continually beeped to assist a person who is blind in locating and maneuvering the ball. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students Ian Thomas, Mitchell Thomas, Justin Fuller, and Thomas Kelley placed a simple beeping mechanism in a Spalding Infusion basketball. The basketball's sound device utilizes a microcontroller, amplifier, dynamic cone speaker, hearing aid batteries, and a custom electronic circuit board, all enclosed in an aluminum tube, which replaced the self-inflating pump that was originally inserted in the Spalding Infusion basketball. …

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