Thread: Cube for a blind person: what is the best way to make one?

1. Cube for a blind person: what is the best way to make one?

I have looked for Rubik's cubes for blind people and just found some from cube4you, which are not good for this purpose. Their stickers are very hard to recognize with the fingers and the centers are not symmetrical, which makes teaching a blind person harder.

I have seen a video of a competition in Indonesia with many blind people and saw the kind of cubes they use. Then I tried to do something similar and the result you can see at the 40sec of this video:

This is a friend of mine (Fábio Borges) who can solve the Rubik's cube now in less then 3 minutes. He got used to the stickers, but we still think that we can improve them. But the great problem is to produce many of these as it took us about 2 hours. We want to teach many more blind people here in Brazil, but we need to have those stickers ready to use. I tried to talk to the main sticker producer that I know from the US, but it seems that they won't produce them, although they said they are interested in it as many people request it to them.

I gave a Mirror Blocks to Fábio Borges and he could solve it with the things he learned from the Rubik's cube we have prepared. So the Mirror Blocks is a puzzle that already comes ready for blind people to use, but I think it is harder to teach the layers method with the Mirror Blocks before teaching it using a regular 3x3x3 cube.

Do anyone knows who could produce stickers more or less like those in Fábio's video, ready to use?

2. You could try reaching out to cubesmith.com, they may be able to produce stickers with Braille surfaces.

3. There was an interview of a blind cuber a few years ago who had made his own cube using washers and other physical objects glued to the cube. For example, one side would be the washer side, with 9 washers of equal size glued to that face. He also used metal beads I think (something like BBs) glued to one side as well if I remember correctly. He talked about how using stickers that are shaped differently can get confusing, but that have a raised physical object attached to the side made it very easy to quickly identify what the piece was that you were tracking so that you could solve it.

I know this probably isn't as cheap of an option, but it comes highly recommended by a blind cuber. I will try to see if I can dig up the video on the old Yahoo Group.

4. Rafael Cinoto has a great job here in Brazil - with tutorials, publication. I think that I can help about this... but the suggestion of Chris is great too.

5. I've personally made something like this to try and find which objects were most easily distinguishable. Washers, googly eyes, BB's, buttons, and toothed washers (slightly more pointy) all work great. Leaving one side blank is a good option too.

6. I don't know much about how successful it is, but here's an article about making one:
DIY - Rubik's Cube - Blind Man's Cube

Tactile Cube

7. Originally Posted by chris410
You could try reaching out to cubesmith.com, they may be able to produce stickers with Braille surfaces.
Yes, that is the sticker producer that I wrote in my post, it seems hard for them to produce it.

We already discussed about glueing thing at the cube faces, and it seems the easiest way. I will try to find some good shapes and then I post it here to tell if it works fine.

8. Or you could have tiles that the X pops up, as well as the colours. There actually could be a market for cubes/stickers/tiles for blind people.

9. I also wish a better cube will be available for blind people. I tried a lot of things but none of them worked out nicely (cubesmith said they could not make such kind of tiles, cube4you blind cube is useless as each face has the same pattern, ...). I ended up making the cube myself with some special ink and drawing some easy patterns (circle, 1 center dot, 6 dots, cross, ...).

10. Originally Posted by Mike Hughey
I don't know much about how successful it is, but here's an article about making one:
DIY - Rubik's Cube - Blind Man's Cube

Tactile Cube
Most sewing shops will have these types of small shapes so that is one place to visit for finding objects that will fit on the surface of a cube.

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