Karlsruhe Institute of Technology: Artificial intelligence: digital pen helps you learn to write

An intelligent digital pen that helps to learn handwriting is being developed in the Franco-German project “Kaligo-based Intelligent Handwriting Teacher” (KIHT). The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) coordinates the joint project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The KIT scientists are researching artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that enable a trace of writing to be reconstructed and handwriting to be interpreted. The intelligent learning device should benefit as many students as possible.

Handwriting is an essential tool of the knowledge society: Studies have repeatedly shown that handwritten drafting of a text leads to a higher quality result than typing. A new project aims to make learning handwriting easier and combines handwriting with digital media: In the joint project “Kaligo-based Intelligent Handwriting Teacher” (KIHT), partners from research and industry in Germany and France are developing an intelligent digital pen. The innovative learning device has all the important properties of a conventional pen and can be used for writing on paper. However, it has inertial sensors that make it possible to detect the smallest changes in the three spatial axes and to determine each position in succession. The intelligent digital pen can be connected to all standard mobile devices, for example a tablet, and interacts with the Kaligo mobile app. This makes it possible to individually adapt the exercises and to automatically synchronize and save the data.

Teachers have more freedom for creative and communicative tasks

“The use of the intelligent digital pen together with suitable computer programs enables the learning of handwriting to be accompanied automatically. This gives teachers and parents more freedom for creative and communicative tasks, ”explains Professor Jürgen Becker, head of the Institute for Information Processing Technology (ITIV) at KIT. The French partners, L’IRISA (Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Systèmes Aléatoires) and Learn & Go, both in Rennes, are primarily concerned with the AI ​​software and algorithms. The company Learn & Go has developed the mobile app Kaligo for practicing handwriting. The German partners are primarily concerned with the integration of suitable AI concepts in the embedded systems, the KIT and the writing instrument manufacturer STABILO International in Heroldsberg. The KIT coordinates the project.

Researchers develop concepts for integrating the algorithms

The working group of Professor Jürgen Becker at the ITIV of the KIT is researching algorithms that are suitable for reconstructing a written trace and interpreting the handwriting. The researchers are developing various concepts for integrating the AI ​​algorithms, adapted to the embedded hardware. This distributes the complexity of the overall system to both the software and the hardware, which enables fast and efficient AI execution. The aim is to enable an online reconstruction of the pen trace from the sensor data and to develop efficient and miniaturizing hardware that can interact with all mobile devices available on the market. A practical test with a demonstration system is planned to conclude the KIHT project. Team leader Dr.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research supports the joint project KIHT in promoting Franco-German projects on the subject of artificial intelligence. The project started in October 2021 and is scheduled to run for three years. The planned intelligent learning device should be made available to the largest possible group of users.