23 Outubro 2009Espanha

The GANAS (Generator of Automatic Animation for Sign Language) project deals with the creation of an interpreter that coverts texts into sign language for the hearing impaired

The solution was conceived to help the Deaf Community perceive information of public places such as: airports and schools, and to provide interpretation services in cinemas, television or websites

The University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) finished the development of the GANAS project (Generator of Automatic Animation for Sign Language) which offers a virtual interpreter who dynamically converts a text into sign language for the hearing impaired. The project started up two years ago within the framework of the cooperation between Indra and Adecco Foundations Accessible Technologies Chairs and several Spanish universities with the objective of developing solutions and offering innovative services in the field of accessibility and social inclusion

GANAS aims at making the information of the environment accessible for the hearing impaired, since sign language is their means of communication and often times have problems understanding written texts. The solution converts a text into Spanish sign language by means of a 3D character and a computer.

One of the challenges of the project consisted of creating a virtual character with real and smooth gestures, so that they can be recognised and understood by the Deaf Community. The avatar can be customised according to the audience it is destined to, that is, it could be children-oriented in appearance.

As far as technology is concerned, it consists of three clearly differentiated modules. By taking a video of a real interpreter as a guide, the editing module calculates the position and rotation of each of the bones of the 3D character in order to reproduce body gestures and facial expressions. These gestures and expressions are afterwards combined to produce a sentence in sign language in such a way that the gestures can be re-used in other sentences and by different virtual characters. In order to achieve this, an intermediate step is required for language processing to arrange word order since in sign language the verb comes at the end of the sentence while complements of time and place appear at the beginning.

Among the advantages of GANAS it is worth mentioning its usefulness in airports, stations, schools, employment offices or tourism to help the Deaf Community understand the information provided by PA systems and information screens. The solution also offers interpretation services in sign language for television channels, cinemas and websites. It could also be used as a tool for Spanish speakers to learn sign language.

New project of Indra-Adecco Foundation Chair of the UCLM

Within the framework of the presentation of the GANAS project, University of Castilla-La Mancha’s Vice-chancellor Ernesto Martinez Ataz, Indra’s Director of Innovation José Luis Angoso and Adecco Foundation’s Chairman Emilio Zurutuza reaffirmed their commitment with social responsibility by signing an agreement to develop a new accessible technologies project, in this case specifically to assist people with mobility impairments.

During the event, the Chair’s Director Juan Carlos Lopez, emphasized that besides accessible technologies undertakings, the UCLM’s Chair engages in other type of activities such as sponsorship of events, training programmes, award to the best thesis of the University School of Informatics of Ciudad Real, and scholarship and internship for students of this university in Indra.

The Director of Indra’s Software Development Centre in Ciudad Real Angel Villodre, highlighted that the company has been present in Ciudad Real for ten years, where it employs 450 professionals.

The UCLM Chair is integrated in The Mixed Research Centre that Indra and the UCLM jointly operate in Ciudad Real since May of 2001 and engages in research, development and technology transfer activities, as well as training and popularization in the communication and information technologies (CIT) sector.