The man-made Seoukguram Grotto is Korea's iconic rock cave temple established in 774 in Gyeongju, the former capital of the ancient Silla kingdom (57 BCE – 935 CE), some 385 kilometers (177 miles) southeast of Seoul. The Buddha statue, regarded as one of the most beautiful Buddhist art pieces, is 3.5 meters (11.4 feet) tall, sitting on a 1.34-meter lotus pedestal inside the cave temple.
The National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage has used 3D printing technology to develop a Seokguram-themed braille book and a haptic educational tool. Students can touch and feel the granite surface and the shape of the temple's main Buddha statue and other smaller statues. The braille book set has an electronic pen with speakers that provides voice-curated educational content.
The institute will distribute the haptic book set to 210 braille book libraries across South Korea in January 2023. More sets will be delivered to schools for blind students.
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