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Cup for the Blind

Enabling Engineering

The Need

When pouring beverages, individuals who are blind or visually impaired may place their finger inside the rim of a cup in order to determine when the cup is full. This method can be injurious if the liquid is hot or and isn’t ideal if the drink is being served to others. While there are devices that emit sound as the liquid level rises, the batteries must be replaced frequently and the sound is ineffective if the individual has any hearing impairments. The user needs a small, easy to use device without batteries that can aid in pouring beverages by notifying them when the liquid in the mug is at a certain height.

The Solution

Previously, another group of students 3D printed a mug with a small horizontal lever that would move in response to the buoyant force created by the rising liquid level. However, the movement of the lever was too slight for the user to notice. Our group decided to modify this design by increasing the length of the lever such that the movement is easier for the user to feel with their hands. In addition, a magnet embedded in the lever will hold it in place once the buoyant force reaches a specific value. Finally, instead of 3D printing the entire mug, we will only 3D print the device itself and add a cinching screw that can be adjusted such that the device can be placed on almost any vessel regardless of height or width.