"The World Health Organisation states that one of 175 people is totally blind. The majority of these people are only mobile if they have help of others, or solely use known pace ways. Besides the cane with a limited range and an expensive guide dog, there are very few aids that support individual mobility of the visually impaired. Available assistant equipment and navigation systems based on GPS have some additional value to determine global directions, but are not able to deal with (moving) persons and obstacles, have a low accuracy and do not work indoors.
This project will develop the stand-alone wearable RANGE-IT prototype, which detects and presents close range objects (<7 meter) to the user in any indoor space. Furthermore, specific reference points (e.g., stairs) will be identified. Based on individual needs and with respect to context, presentation of information will be in tactile and/or audio modality.
RANGE-IT will be built using affordable components, taking advantage of the latest developments in tactile and 3D camera hardware and image recognition software. An iterative co-creation design process will be followed to ensure an optimal integration and user acceptance.
The successful development of the RANGE-IT system will make it the first indoor stand-alone system in the world to assist blind persons in navigating through the environment. It will increase the individual mobility of visually impaired people and their participation in society."
Call for proposal
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