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Second International Conference on Computational Intelligence, Modelling and Simulation

A System Architecture of Electronic Braille Panel for

Reciting Al-Quran
Department of Applied Mechanics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
81310, UTM Skudai Johor,

book. The Braille Al-Quran has too many characters,

therefore it becomes too thick and has to be divided into
several bindings or volumes [3]. This will cause difficulty in
carrying the Holy book and thus the duration for learning the
will be limited. Besides that, the dots at embossed Braille AlQuran may flatten with time if frequently touched and this
will make it hard to recognize the Braille characters. This, in
turn, affects the learning process.
In correspondence to that, the creation of an electronic
Braille Al-Quran panel will solve these problems. This panel
functions as a device for learning and reciting the Braille AlQuran. Electronic Braille Al-Quran will use piezoelectric
Braille actuators that will replace the embossed Braille
characters. This actuator is an electro-mechanical device that
contains six or eight dots which can rise up or down
depending on the electrical signals they received [4]. The
dots at piezoelectric Braille actuator are quite tough, robust
and able to maintain position above the reference surface by
applying a certain amount of voltage. So, the possibility of
the dots to become flatten is greatly reduced. On the other
hand, the electronic Braille Al-Quran has a database that
allows the users to recite the Quran based on the verses of
choice. All the verses will be stored in one place and are
easily accessible. Moreover, it is light and can be easily
carried around. The problems faced by the visually impaired
can be overcome or greatly reduced with the use of this
electronic Braille Al-Quran panel.

AbstractSince Braille became one of the most important ways

for the visually impaired to learn and obtain information,
many kinds of Braille products were invented. Among these
products, electronic Braille panels are among the popular ones.
It is a device, typically attachable to a computer that allows a
blind person to read the contents of a display one text line at a
time in the form of a line of Braille characters. In this paper,
proposed system architecture of electronic Braille panel for
reciting Holy AL-Quran in Braille is presented. The system
architecture includes several modules and one storage
database which contain all verses and ayah of Al-Quran. The
users only need to select the verses and ayah to read.
Moreover, the system also contains inbuilt sound module for
playing an audio of each selected ayah.
Keywords-Braille; Visually impaired; Electronic Braille



Literacy is the foundation of learning for a successful

life. For people who are blind or visually impaired, literacy
through Braille is the key to the world of ideas, literature and
written communication. Braille is a tactile system that
contains several dots which enables blind and partially
sighted people to read and write through touch instead of
vision [1]. Braille was devised in 1821 by Louis Braille, a
Frenchman. Each Braille character consists of patterns of
raised dots arranged in groups of six in fix matrix called a
cell [2]. The Braille system also includes several symbols to
represent punctuation, mathematics and scientific characters,
music, computer notation and foreign languages. Arabic
language is one of the languages that have been translated to
Braille system and this system has been used by blind
Muslim person to read the Al-Quran. Al- Quran is a holy
book to the Islam religion from God that provides a vast
knowledge about everything. For blind people especially
Muslim, blindness should not be an obstacle to recite the AlQuran.
Previously, the blind people need to memorize the verses
and this will be an obstacle for them to learn the Al-Quran.
Memorizing also made it almost impossible for them to learn
the whole book. Now with the Braille Al-Quran, the blind
people can read the whole Al-Quran and gain knowledge for
and guidance in life. Al-Quran is a substitute for normal holy
978-0-7695-4262-1/10 $26.00 2010 IEEE
DOI 10.1109/CIMSiM.2010.56



The system architecture of an electronic Braille Al-Quran

panel is divided into several modules as illustrated in Fig. 1.
These modules are CPM module, Shift Register module,
Power Supply module, Sound module, Braille keys module
and Database module. Every module has its own
functionality and connected and interacted with the CPM
A. Central Processing Module (CPM)
Central Processing Controller module or CPM module
contains a microcontroller which acts as a controller to
control overall data flow in electronic Braille Al-Quran
system. It will act as a manager and administer interfacing
between modules and system in electronic Braille Al-Quran.

By referring Fig. 1, CPM module is connected to the

Shift Register module through one line communication
named Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI). SPI is a serial bus
standard established by Motorola and supported in silicon
products from various manufacturers. SPI specifies four
signals that are clock (SCLK), master data output or slave
data input (SDI), master data input or slave data output
(SDO) and slave select (CS) [5]. This SPI will be used by
CPM module to transfer the data such as verses of Braille
Al-Quran to Shift Register module.

Shift register is a type of sequential logic circuit, mainly

used for storage of digital data [7]. One of the most common
uses of a shift register is to convert between serial to parallel
data interfaces.

Figure 2. Shift Register Module

C. Database Module
Fig. 3 shows the block diagram of database module.
Database module consist one microcontroller and memory
card module. Memory card functions as storage devices
where all files that contain the verses and ayah Braille AlQuran data will be stored into this storage [8]. The
microcontroller at database module will communicate with
memory card through the SPI line. It will read and get the
data from memory card storage. The data that has been read
by microcontroller will be processed before sending it to
CPM microcontroller via UART communication line.

Figure 1. Proposed System Architecture

On the other hand, the CPM module is connected to
Database module through other serial communication line
named Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter
(UART) also known as a Serial Communications Interface
(SCI) [6]. This communication is almost same with SPI but it
only required two signal pins that are receiver (RX) and
transmitter (TX) pins. The CPM module will get the data
from Database module and send that data to Shift Register
module. This Shift Register module then will distribute the
data to each piezoelectric Braille cell. The power source for
the whole system will be supplied by Power Supply module.
The CPM module is also connected to Braille Keys system
through the input and output port (I/O) that located in CPM
B. Shift Register Module
In electronic Braille Al-Quran system, Shift Register
module is used to control all the dots at piezoelectric Braille
cells. This module will received a serial data from CPM
module through SPI line communication. Then, that serial
data will be converted to parallel data which can be
distributed to every single dot at piezoelectric Braille cell.
There are two elements involved in this module that is shift
register and piezoelectric Braille cells.

Figure 3. Database Module


and DC to DC converter. The electronic Braille Al-Quran

panel can be operated by using an adapter 12V direct current
(DC) plug or battery that located inside the panel. When the
adapter is connected to panel, power supply from battery will
be automatically cut off and the panel will used the source
from adapter. At the same time, adapter will also operate as a
charger to the battery. The battery will always be charging
by adapter until it was fully charge.

D. Sound Module
Sound module consists of microcontroller, memory card,
chip decoder and speaker. The sound microcontroller will
communicate with CPM module through UART line. It also
will read and receive the data audio in .MP3 format
located in memory card via SPI communication interface.
The same SPI line is used in order to communicate and
transfer the data audio of verse and ayah Al-Quran from
sound microcontroller to chip decoder. The chip decoder will
process the data and send it to the speaker to produce the



Generally, Braille Al-Quran is the Holy Al-Quran that

uses the methods of Braille Arabic alphabets. It comprises of
Arabic alphabets and diacritical marks in the form of Braille
printed using an embosser. The shapes of the alphabets are
very different from the shape of words on the regular AlQuran. Even though there are differences, the sound of each
alphabet is the same for both. In electronic Braille panel, the
Braille Al-Quran data that located in memory storage
module are written in English Roman font and were saved in
.txt format or Notepad. The Database module will read the
entire Braille Al-Quran data for each selected file and will
convert it to Braille code which representing a unique Arabic
character. Fig. 5 shows the Braille code represented in
Arabic alphabet.

Figure 4. Sound Module

E. Braille Keys Module
Braille key Module consist of buttons or keys that have
their own functionality. The buttons in Braille key module
are divided into three categories that are powers key,
navigations key and sound controls key. The powers key
is used to turn on and cut off the power source between
adapter and battery with electronic Braille panel circuits.
Navigations key is divided into 4 buttons that is Escape
(ESC), ENTER, NEXT and BACK buttons. The ENTER
button is used to confirm the verses in holy Quran that has
been choose in the selection menu while the ESC button
used for back to the menu if the user want to read other
verses. Button NEXT is used to go to the next line of versus
Quran while the BACK button for previous line. Sound
controls key also consists of 4 buttons that are
buttons. The voice of audio Al-Quran can be adjusted
depending on the VOLUME plus and VOLUME down
F. Power Supply System
Power supply module is used as voltage regulator to the
modules in electronic Braille panel. This module supplies a
certain voltage to several microcontrollers, shift register,
piezoelectric Braille cells and other circuitry such as sound
circuit. It also consisting battery charger, voltage regulator

Figure 5. Braille code in Arabic





In order to test and prove whether the proposed system

architecture are working or not, one prototype circuit has
been developed as shown in Fig. 6. This circuit is divided
into several modules that are CPM module, Shift Register
module, Power Supply module, Sound module, Braille keys
module and Database module. This entire module has been
combined and the connection between each other is tested. It
was operates successfully and able to display the verses and
ayah at piezoelectric Braille cells. Fig. 7 shows the certain
verses and ayah were displayed at Braille cells.


This paper has introduced and presented the system

architecture of electronic Braille panel for reciting Al-Quran.
The system architecture consists of several modules and one
database storage to store all verses Al-Quran is stored at one
place. One prototype circuit has been developed in order to
prove the proposed system architecture and the result is
shown in Fig. 7 where certain verses and ayah are displayed
at Braille cells.
Financial support by the Malaysia Demonstrator
Application Grant Scheme (DAGS) Fund (Vot.79907) by
MOSTI (Ministry Of Science, Technology and Innovation)
is gratefully acknowledged.





Figure 6. Prototype Circuit




Figure 7. Ayah Al-Quran at Braille Cells.


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