Take Me HomeWhat is FingerPilot ASL?What are the magic words?Who made this?How do I use this?


FingerPilot ASL


by Jennifer Shim '02, Jue Wang '04 and Lixian Chen '04


Robotic Design Studio 2002

Welcome to our webpage for our Wintersession 2002 Robotics Design Studio course. This site documents our final project for this course, from the inception of the idea to the final creation. While it is certainly instructive to see the final product, it is worthwhile and equally edifying to understand the mechanics involved in building the final product.


While our experience with sign language varied within the group, we all agreed that there was an unrecognized silence between those who communicated through sign language and those who did not. Moreover, while most people were familiar with the finger positions for some of the letters of the alphabet, it was not enough to build an effective communication between the two worlds. For our final project, we chose to build a FingerPilot ASL that could read the signings of letters from the American Sign Language Alphabet and translate the signs onto a Handy Board that could be read by those who do not understand sign language. Our goal was to build a bridge of communication between those who communicate by sign language and those who communicate verbally. Serving not only as a method of communication, we also strive to have FingerPilot ASL function as an instructive tool for people interested in learning it.
This project was made possible by Robotics Design Studio. Robotic Design Studio is a wintersession course taught by Robbie Berg (Physics) and Franklyn Turbak (Computer Science). Robotics Design Studio is designed to give students an opportunity to design and assemble robots using LEGO parts, Handy Boards, and Crickets. Students are familiarized with a variety of concepts including: simple programming, basic electronics, fundamental mechanics, gearing, LEGO design clichés, and web page design.