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2020-03-25 10:40

Russian scientists help people with hearing loss learn and work remotely

Speech recognition device Charlie - is a gadget with artificial intelligence, which translates speech into text and displays it on the screen of any device. The device has a special function of remote communication. For example, a teacher at the institute can put "Charlie" next to him during a lecture, and students with hearing loss, connecting to the program on a special link, will read the decoded speech of the lecturer at home on the screen of a smartphone or computer online.

In the same way, working meetings, any educational activities or presentations can be held. All you need to do is to have access to the Internet. Speech recognition device Charlie was created in Moscow Laboratory Sensor-Tech, a resident company of the Skolkovo Foundation.

"Now, when so many people are switching to remote work and study modes and go to self-isolation, it is crucial to support people with disabilities as well. That is why we have urgently made such a new function for "Charlie". I will use it myself in the very near future. All my students in Baumanka have been transferred to remote education, there are many deaf children in inclusive groups. I hope that they will appreciate the novelty," said Denis Kuleshov, director of the Sensor-Tech Laboratory and professor at Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

In addition to the function of remote communication, Charlie has a normal mode of operation - the device online plays the deciphered speech on the screen, and a deaf person can simply read what he is told without the help of third parties. The gadget is often installed at home to communicate with loved ones. It can also be used in public places: banks, hospitals, railway stations, etc. Charlie has already been installed and is actively working at the Moscow Employment Center My Job. With its help, the specialists of the department for employment of the disabled effectively communicate with people with hearing loss and help them find a job.

Also, a pilot testing project Charlie has been launched at the MEC in Perm. It is planned that after the tests, the device will be installed in special windows to serve people with disabilities.

The project was supported by the Co-Solidarity Foundation for Blind Deaf People, the Neuronet Industry Union, and is being implemented as part of the roadmap of the National Technology Initiative.

The Sensor-Tech Laboratory was founded in 2016 with the support of the Soo-Unity Blind Deaf Foundation. The aim of the project is to develop technological solutions for the socialization of people with hearing and vision disorders, including deafblind people, in Russia. The Laboratory's research and development topics cover a wide range of fields of science and technology, including bioengineering, biotechnical systems, nanoelectronics and electrical engineering, information and communication systems, neurology and neurophysiology, genetics. Sensor-Tech Lab's projects include the See My World ophthalmologic VR simulator, which simulates various visual disturbances; the bill reader application for the blind; Robin's smart assistant and Charlie's speech recognition device. In 2017, Sensor-Tech Lab was involved in the first bionic implant surgery in Russia for people with visual impairment. In 2019, Sensor-Tech became a resident of the Skolkovo Foundation.

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