Development of Smart Cane, an affordable above-knee obstacle detection and warning system for the visually impaired Watch (1 min) (360G-Wellcome-092882_A_10_Z)
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has developed the Smart Cane, a navigation and mobility aid for visually challenged people. The Smart Cane is an innovative device that can be mounted on a traditional white cane to enhance its functionality, resulting in improved mobility and safety, while reducing dependence on sighted assistance.White canes are currently the most commonly used visual mobility aid; however, a white cane can only detect certain types of obstacles within a limited range and cannot detect obstacles that are above the knee (e.g. a steel bar on the road) or protruding (e.g. a tree branch or an open window).The Smart Cane device uses ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles up to 3m away, and the range of the detected obstacles is conveyed using vibratory signals with different vibration characteristics. It is designed as a user-detachable unit and is powered by rechargeable Li-ion battery. The design emphasis has been on making an affordable device, and it is currently expected to cost less than Rs 2000 (£30) to the end user.This project targets the design of a manufacturable device, optimising it based on user feedback from field trials and making it ready for regulatory approvals and certification. It has been proposed that extensive user trials should be carried out at multiple locations in the next 18 months. The project is being jointly undertaken by IIT Delhi with an industrial partner, Phoenix Medical Systems (P) Ltd, Chennai. The third partner in the project is Saksham Trust, New Delhi, who have domain expertise and links to the network of organisations working for the visually impaired.
£254,162 04 Jun 2010