Parameterization of Kinesthetic Output Mobility Aid
This research will investigate a blind mobility aid which uses kinesthetic feedback to intuitively communicate to the user the range and texture of surfaces in the extended environment. The handheld device will contain an infrared optical ranging module with the range output. The sensitivity and directivity of the device will allow users to feel textural aspects as small as one centimeter and spatial distances as great as 3.5 meters. The device has been specifically designed to overcome the limitations encountered by earlier electronic travel aids and is expected to provide a practical alternative to the long cane for many users. The goal of Phase I is to determine the effectiveness of different settings and configurations of the aid by having blind volunteers test the device on specific elements of mobility. Two examples of the elements of mobility are anticipating and responding to spatial features while walking and orienting oneself by identifying physical landmarks.
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Principal Investigator:James T. Sears
2301 Panorama Avenue Boulder, CO 80304
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