Tactile graphics are a common way to present information to people with vision impairments. Tactile graphics can be used to explore a broad range of static visual content but aren’t well suited to representing animation or interactivity. We introduce a new approach to creating dynamic tactile graphics that combines a touch screen tablet, static tactile overlays, and small mobile robots. We introduce a prototype system called RoboGraphics and several proof-of-concept applications. We evaluated our prototype with seven participants with varying levels of vision, comparing the RoboGraphics approach to a flat screen, audio-tactile interface. Our results show that dynamic tactile graphics can help visually-impaired participants explore data quickly and accurately.


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Darren Guinness, Annika Muehlbradt, Daniel Szafir, and Shaun K. Kane. 2019. RoboGraphics: Dynamic Tactile Graphics Powered by Mobile Robots. In Proceedings of the 21st International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS '19). ACM, New York, NY, USA. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3308561.3353804 (Pittsburgh, PA - Oct. 28, 2019)