Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Miracles & Wonders: Helping the blind to "see"

A blind person walks into a crowded room and has a dilemma: He needs to find an empty chair to sit in, but doesn’t want to go around bopping ankles with his cane as he tests all the occupied chairs first. 

Here's the solution:
Researchers at MIT’s computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory came up with a guiding system based on vibration feedback. The system includes a depth camera, an embedded computer, a vibration belt, and a brail system. The user wears the camera and computer around his neck and the vibration belt around his torso. Based on the vibration feedback, he can discern the location of obstacles in the area before testing them out with his cane. It can even tell him which chair is empty. To test the system, the engineers sent blind volunteers wandering through the halls of their buildings and into mock-up spaces. The volunteers were more hesitant and walked more slowly when they wore the feedback system, but they were able to navigate without using their canes.
Watch this video:

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