If you have been on Facebook these past few days, you probably have come across the viral video of a group of Electrical Engineering students who were able to make a pair of gloves that can convert sign language into speech for their thesis project.
The video presentation of a thesis defense entitled “Filipino Sign Language to Voice Converter” posted by Francis Anthony de Guzman was warmly received by Filipinos and reached up to almost a hundred thousand likes and thirty-nine thousand shares as of this writing.
Development of Sign Language Voice Converter
Electrical engineering students from Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges, Francis Anthony de Guzman, Rency dela Cruz, and Klenn Arvin Alcibor wowed many netizens with their customized gloves that were capable of interpreting Filipino sign language and converting it into speech. These gloves were made from thin, stretchable sensors that can cover the length of the five fingers.
A motion tracking device, MPU-6050, has been embedded on these gloves making it possible to interpret hand motions and finger positions. To process the sign language, the data input will be sent to the computer through WiFi.
A Hope for the Deaf Community
While the deaf-mute community in the Philippines has been long established and widely accepted among Filipinos, it can’t be denied that many of them are still not given equal opportunities – and even ridiculed – because of their disabilities.
Alcibor shared that they really wanted to create projects that will be beneficial to the people and hopefully give voice to the deaf community. Despite the limitations of resources because of the pandemic, the group was still able to come up with such innovation that can hopefully benefit many individuals.
Aside from this, Alcibor’s group was really motivated to push for this project after the untimely death of one of their members, Rei Mark Tandaan, who passed away last year. “We were really sad of his sudden passing but this encouraged us all further to put more effort into our work,” said dela Cruz.
There were no details provided yet as to how the thesis project was received by the school but surely, this innovation has already sparked the interest of many individuals and inspired the younger generations to come up with inventions that can provide help to often taken for granted members of the community. As these BSEE students move forward to their final year, they hope to leave their iconic thesis to the College as their legacy – that can be further developed by the next researchers.