Intellisight is a research organization with the sole purpose of exploring the concept of intelligent autonomous navigation for those who are blind or visually impaired and for seniors with mobility impairment.
Computerized Navigational Research for the Blind
We are developing a system for guiding people who are blind and visually impaired along a clear path that uses computer based Lidar type radar and other sensors to detect the presence of obstacles or other terrain features and warns the user. Since multiple terrain features can be encountered everywhere, and their location relative to a moving person are continually changing, it is challenging to communicate this wealth of spatial information in a way that is rapidly comprehensible to the user. The main contribution of this system is to develop a user interface that allows the user to probe the environment with multiple sensors. The system continuously tracks the terrain and provides user feedback when changes are detected.
The goal of this project is to use a robot style CPU as an alternative “Orientation and Navigation” device for the Blind, a computerized O&N tool has far more possibilities than a white cane or a guide dog. A white cane investigates the environment by sweeping side to side in about a three foot width pattern. This provides a clear path in front of the blind person. The white cane comes in contact with its environment tactually to provide object avoidance and clear path detection. The user will become aware of objects in their path tactually with the white cane. The guide dog guides a person in the direction that the person commands the dog to take. The guide dog avoids objects in the given path. With this method the Blind do not make physical contact with his/her environment.
What does a guide dog do for the blind?
1. Creates Mobility
a. Provides independence
b. Provides confidence
2. Helps Blind People Get Around
a. Guides in a straight line
b. Avoids obstacles on the ground
c. Moves from side to side
d. Sweeps overhead
3. Stops and Remembers
a. At stairs and any obstacle
b. Finds doors
c. Remembers common and familiar places
4. Dogs Are Not A Miracle
a. A dog does not decide if it is safe
b. Human decides when to cross
c. Human judgment is same as white cane
a. A devise that is unique, safe, and effective travel
b. A devise that eliminates feelings of social isolating and ostracism
c. A devise that is modern, intriguing, and unique…a robot
The computerized O&N tool has the potential of providing more detail about the user’s environment. It can provide clear path detection, object avoidance, and computerized information, as it navigates a clear path. It can scan the interior of a building and remember the layout and use GPS information when out doors or in a one/two story building. Imagine that you are setting at a desk in a building right now:
CLOSE YOUR EYES!
Now figure out how to leave the building from where you are. Visualize how you got there. Next plot your way out of the building without vision. You can use your hearing and other senses to plan your route.
THIS IS THE CHALLENGE!!
“THE ROAD TO MOBILITY”