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FP6

MICOLE

Project ID: 511592
Financé au titre de

Multimodal collaboration environment for inclusion of visually impaired children

De 2004-09-01 à 2007-08-31, projet clôturé | MICOLE Site web

Détails concernant le projet

Coût total:

EUR 2 455 540

Contribution de l'UE:

EUR 2 100 000

Coordonné à/au(x)/en:

Finland

Appel à propositions:

FP6-2003-IST-2See other projects for this call

Régime de financement:

STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project

Description

Fostering hands-on learning for visually impaired

New technology developed and field tested by European researchers could help blind and visually impaired children better integrate into mainstream schools.

A team of nine universities, two research centres and two enterprises came together in project MICOLE to create a system to support collaboration between visually impaired and sighted children. The system they designed allows the children to use computers to explore data, communicate and be creative while working together.

Because, in practice, the main place for sighted and visually impaired children to meet and work together is in schools, the scenarios developed by the researchers, and the applications they chose are designed for classroom use.

The researchers consulted and collaborated with teachers and either tested the applications in schools during normal classes or in a separate room outside of normal hours.

All pull together

The tests were made as realistic as possible with sighted and visually impaired students working together to learn something or accomplish a school task. The researchers used the same test procedure in six participating schools, each in a different country.

There were also tests done where visually impaired children worked individually and with teachers, using the collaborative system to guide and help the pupils with tasks and solutions.

Overall, the researchers evaluated five applications to check their individual performances and to ensure their compatibility with the MICOLE platform developed by the project. The applications all met both criteria, and received positive feedback from students and teachers.

The first of these applications was AHEAD, the Audio-Haptic Drawing Editor and Explorer in two dimensions. AHEAD employs cutting-edge haptic technology, which allows the user to interact with a computer via the sense of touch.

Using a phantom pen

AHEAD is a general-purpose graphics editor and explorer that can be used both for examining prepared drawings and for creating drawings. Sighted students can control the software with a mouse, while blind students use a stylus called ‘PHANToM’.

This is a special device, connected to a robot arm, that makes it possible to feel virtual objects in three dimensions. The user holds it like an ordinary pen. It can be moved in all directions and gives resistance when it touches a virtual object.

Another application is the Solar System, which as the name implies allows visually impaired pupils to learn about our solar system in collaboration with sighted pupils.

The PHANToM stylus allows the user to explore the orbits of the planets. A speech synthesiser describes which planet’s orbit is in question. A combination of touch and speech also allows the pupil to explore the surface of each planet.

Now for bit of fun

The project’s Electric Circuits application uses the same type of technology to allow users to explore electric circuit schematics, while the Mathematical Working Environment (MAWEN) software is a scientific documents editor.

Blind students use the Braille Mathematical Code application while their sighted partners use standard graphics as they work together on a document.

Finally, for a bit of light relief, there is the King Pong game, which takes account of different levels of visual impairment and can be played by one player and a computer or by two players.

Objectif

The work in the MICOLE project aims at developing a system that supports collaboration, data exploration, communication andcreativity of visually impaired and sighted children. In addition to the immediate value as a tool the system will have societal implications through improved inclusion of the visually disabled in education, work, and society in general. While the main activity is the construction of the system, several other supporting activities are needed, especially empirical research of collaborative and cross-modal haptic interfaces for and visually impaired children. Empirical experiments are carried out to find out how to use different senses to partially replace missing visual capabilities, especially in tasks that are central in the system being constructed. MICOLE includes two Work Packages with different empirical foci to feed critical knowledge into the central iterative construction-evaluation cycle of the system development and evaluation WorkPackages. The project begins with stakeholder involvement and requirements gathering tasks. The intended users are involved throughout the project in participatory design and evaluations. The consortium has been set up with partners that have existing contacts and experience in working with local and national organizations for the visually disabled to facilitate user involvement.The software architecture and applications will be multimodal, that is, they make use of hearing and touch to complement different levels of visual disability. The project participants include European and world leaders in the area of haptics and multimodal human-computer interaction to ensure that the best possible expertise is used. In addition to the system built in MICOLE, the project produces theoretical and empirical results and guidelines for developers generally improving the conditions for inclusion and participation of the visually disabled in the Information Society.

Coordonnées du coordinateur

Roope Raisamo, (Project Coordinator)
Tél.: +358 3 3551 7056
Fax: +358 3 3551 6070
E-mail

Coordinateur

TAMPEREEN YLIOPISTO
Finland

Contribution de l'UE: EUR 430 179


Kalevantie 4
33014 TAMPERE
Finland
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Contact administratif: Roope Raisamo
Tél.: 35832157056
Fax: 35893215607

Participants

UNIVERSITAT LINZ
Austria

Contribution de l'UE: EUR 148 236


ALTENBERGER STRASSE 69
4040 LINZ
Austria
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Contact administratif: Klaus Miesenberger
Tél.: 4373224681214
Fax: 4373224689322
E-mail
UNIVERSITE DE METZ
France

Contribution de l'UE: EUR 138 240


Ile du Saulcy
57012 METZ
France
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Contact administratif: Benoît MARTIN
Tél.: 33387547317
Fax: 33387315309
MEDIALABEUROPE LIMITED
Fin de participation
Ireland

Contribution de l'UE: EUR 4 672


FIRST FLOOR FITZWILTON HOUSE WILTON PLACE
DUBLIN 2
Ireland
Activity type: Research Organisations
Contact administratif: Sile O'Modhrain
Tél.: 35314742800
Fax: 35314742809
E-mail
SIAULIU UNIVERSITETAS
Lithuania

Contribution de l'UE: EUR 102 432


Vilniaus 88
LT-76285 Siauliai
Lithuania
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Contact administratif: VIDAS LAURUSKA
Tél.: 370595830
Fax: 370595832
E-mail
KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN
Sweden

Contribution de l'UE: EUR 215 400


BRINELLVAGEN 8
100 44 STOCKHOLM
Sweden
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Contact administratif: Kerstin Severinson Eklundh
Tél.: 4687909103
Fax: 468102477
LUNDS UNIVERSITET
Sweden

Contribution de l'UE: EUR 259 934


Paradisgatan 5c
22100 LUND
Sweden
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Contact administratif: Charlotte Magnusson
Tél.: 46462224097
Fax: 46462224431
E-mail
REACHIN TECHNOLOGIES AB
Sweden

Contribution de l'UE: EUR 175 000


Arsta�sv�n 24
11743 Stockholm
Sweden
Activity type: Other
UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
United Kingdom

Contribution de l'UE: EUR 205 775


UNIVERSITY AVENUE
G12 8QQ GLASGOW
United Kingdom
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Contact administratif: Stephen Brewster
Tél.: 44141330496
Fax: 44141330491
E-mail