This haptic feedback system could help the visually impaired get around

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Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a stunning system to help visually impaired folks, consisting of a 3D digital camera, worn like glasses, and a haptic feedback sleeve that makes use of vibrations to sign the presence of obstacles close by.

In a paper shared on-line on arXiv, in view of forthcoming publication in a scientific journal, Manuel Zahn and Armaghan Ahmad Khan clarify how the system works.

The impediment avoidance system combines a 3D digital camera (Intel RealSense D415) and a haptic feedback sleeve positioned on the forearm of the blind or sight-impaired particular person. This system works independently of lighting circumstances and may subsequently be used day or night time, indoors (with a most vary of three meters) or open air (two meters).

When the digital camera detects an impediment, it applies a small vibration to the forearm. The sleeve has a complete of 25 small factors of contact which are used to sign the presence of an impediment by indicating its location and its distance. During the first exams carried out, these vibrations had been appropriately felt in additional than 98% of circumstances.

The goal of this innovation is to help visually impaired folks develop into much more unbiased, making an allowance for that this sleeve is comparatively discreet and avoids any potential stigma. Note that the depth of the vibration will depend on the particular location of the sleeve, in addition to on the muscularity of the forearm.

For the second, this mission remains to be in the prototype stage. In the future, it will likely be vital to search out an optimum system that may go well with everybody. Further developments could additionally embrace object recognition, with a purpose to generate completely delimited paths. Finally, this system could be enhanced with bone conduction audio system for extra voice-based management.

Scientific progress is such that it’s now potential to provide visually impaired folks relative autonomy, serving to them get around with out the conventional white cane or information canine. In current years, analysis and improvements have multiplied, from the related white cane to the autonomous canine robotic, to not point out a tech-packed backpack and a smartphone information. – AFP Relaxnews



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