Acts of Kindness
Caring grandson realizes elderly grandma has trouble texting and invents a machine to help her
He knew his grandmother needed to keep in touch with her grandchildren, so he made a device just for her.
Caryl Jane Espiritu
04.27.22

Because of technology, families have learned how to cross miles and miles of distance by keeping in touch with the help of advanced communication gadgets.

Pexels - EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA
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Pexels - EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA

While some older people are able to adapt to smartphones and technology, there are others who struggle.

One of these people is Manuel Lucio Dallo’s grandmother.

Pexels - Los Muertos Crew
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Pexels - Los Muertos Crew

During the pandemic, video calling and texting became very important for families living far from each other. But Manuel’s grandma could not learn to text, and because of her hearing disability, talking on the phone was also a challenge.

Manuel knew how important it is for her to be in touch with her grandchildren. And so, the man was inspired to build a machine that would enable his granny to still be able to communicate with her family without having to learn about the complexities of a smartphone.

The Yayagram is born.

As a software engineer, Manual had the skills to make communicating possible for his grandma. He built the “Yayagram”, a device meant to help the elderly or disabled communicate properly thru voice messaging and text printing.

Pexels - Brett Jordan
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Pexels - Brett Jordan

He introduced his genius creation on Twitter, where people went totally crazy about it.

It’s a user-friendly device that sends out voice messages and prints out received answers. It is the perfect solution for his grandmother’s difficulty when it comes to phones due to her disability. It is made just for the elderly wanting to have a chat with their grandchildren.

Manuel fondly shared how to use the Yayagram in a Twitter thread.

To send a new voice message you need first to choose the destination grandchild, the selection is made using a Jack connector, like the #cablegirls used to do!” he wrote.

He then shared the next steps to take through a series of tweets. To send a message, the user physically plugs in a cable next to the recipient’s name.

Twitter - Manu
Source:
Twitter - Manu

They then press and hold a button to record audio and speak into the integrated microphone. The message then appears on the recipient’s phone like a regular voice note.

And when the operator of the Yayagram receives a text message, it’s printed off using a built-in thermal printer. One fun fact about the machine is that its name “Yayagram” came from the word “Yaya” which means “Granny” in Castilian.

Manuel also shared the details of what makes up the machine. It’s powered by a Raspberry Pi 4, runs on Python, and uses several third-party software libraries to tie everything together.

It has a USB microphone and the printer is similar to those used in cash registers. He also uses Telegram as the main application for messaging.

This device was built out of inspiration and love between the grandchild and his “yaya.”

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By Caryl Jane Espiritu
hi@sbly.com
Caryl Jane Espiritu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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