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

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rafaelcinoto
Thread starter #1
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?
 
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#2
You could try reaching out to cubesmith.com, they may be able to produce stickers with Braille surfaces.
 

cmhardw

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#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.
 
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#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.
 
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rafaelcinoto
Thread starter #7
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.
 

ThomasJE

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#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.
 
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#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, ...).
 
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#11
Just saw this thread. I've been wanting to get hold of an original blind mans cube for a long time, the one made by Polytechnica (SP) but they're impossible to find. You may have heard about 3D printing? I've seen some vids on youtube about it and it looks like they can do just about anything with it.

So, I was thinking, why not get some tiles identicle in size, shape and colour to the original blind mans cube printed and glue them onto a cube?


Keith ;)
 
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#12
That should work pretty nicely, and it wouldn't be too expensive either due to the small amount of plastic actually contained in it. I assume you'd want them printed with the same color, no? :p Dying them would take some time and I don't think Shapeways can print with arbitrary colors.

You can probably do better than the Polytechnica textures, though - the triangle and line need to be oriented, so they aren't optimal. Maybe you could replace them with an 8-pointed star and a small filled square.
 
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#13
For me personally I'd like to have all the tiles as original, it doesn't really matter about centre orientation. From what I've seen they can do any colour.



Keith ;)
 
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#15
i've done many blind solves with a bump cube (shengshou one is amazing, turns well and is deadly cheap) and as every piece is a different shape you can scramble and solve without looking at it once. Plus as its a basic shape mod of a 3x3 there are no parities and it solves the exact same way as a normal cube :)
 
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#17
I got a set of tiles done at shapeways, I had them done in the white, strong and flexible plastic. Being inexperienced with 3D designing I asked someone to design them for me. I supplied some pics and dimensions of a Polytechnica Blind Mans Cube and that's mostly all the designer needed. I still have to paint them and apply them to a cube. If anyone wants a set you should be able to order them from shapeways.

http://www.shapeways.com/model/8825...shortUrl&key=c64f5757b3c4952582d0f10c64ea08d6

I am pretty happy with them but I think they can be improved upon. For starters, the edges are rounded on the bottom instead of the top (might just be how the printer works, I don't know) and I think the shapes could be raised from 1mm (which mine are) to a height of 1.5mm. Also, the plastic has a chalky and pourus feel, I'd prefer something with more of a solid smoother feel. I'll have a talk to the guy who designed them for me and see what he says.


Keith ;)
 
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#20
Yea I've since discovered how to change the material. I'm not sure about why they're done in a cage, I'm guessing it's to keep them together.


Keith ;)
 
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