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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Stand-alone Readers by Robotron

The Sensory Tools division of the Robotron Company manufactures three different stand-alone readers: the Galileo, the Pronto, and the Rainbow Reading Machine. Contact information is located at the end of this page.

The reader with the most powerful features is the Galileo, which can read documents up to 8.5 inches by 14.5 inches at about two pages per minute. Galileo's Optical Character Recognition (OCR) can handle multiple fonts, including documents with mixed fonts, at type sizes from 6 to 32 points. Galileo has the option of having extra languages installed--English, French, German and Spanish are all supported-and a document with multiple languages can be read without having to be scanned multiple times.

Galileo reads text in a high-quality synthesized voice. The unit has its own internal hard drive and floppy disk drive for saving documents. Document files can be saved in a variety of word processing formats which makes it easy to share files with others. Users also have the option of connecting Galileo to a personal computer where files can also be saved and edited.

The most basic of Sensory Tools' readers is the Pronto. Nicknamed "Galileo Light" by some users, it has the same scanning and OCR features as Galileo, but can only handle one language (English, French German or Spanish). The Pronto lacks the capacity to save files-it only reads the document in the high quality synthesized speech. The Pronto is the most affordable of the readers, with a price under $2000.

The Rainbow Reading Machine can read documents up to 8.5 inches by 14.5 inches at about 1000 words per minute. The Rainbow's OCR can handle multiple fonts, including mixed fonts, in sizes from 6 to 72 points. It is only available in an English language version. The Rainbow does not have any internal disk drives, but it can be connected to a computer and can save text files there. It uses a variety of older word processing formats, which may make the Rainbow Reading Machine a good choice for users with older computers.

Sensory Tools Division
Robotron Group
15 Stamford Road
Oakleigh 3166, Australia
Phone: +61 3 9568 2568
Fax: +61 3 9568 1377
Web: http://www.readsmart.com/

Contributor: Malcolm Turner

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