A Wearable Multi-Sensor Navigation Device for the Visually Impaired

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R41EY017516-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: EY017516
Amount: $126,120.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (435) 757-6294
Email: aminichiello@castlerockengineering.com
Research Institution
LOGAN, UT, 84322
 Nonprofit college or university
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term objective of this application is to develop a wearable multi-sensor way finding device for the visually impaired that can function reliably both indoors and outdoors. The Phase I specific aims are to: 1) assemble and test a hardware platform that consists of a pocket-size computer and four sensors: a wireless signal receiver inside a wearable computer, a pedometer, a GPS receiver, and a digital compass; 2) implement and test sensor fusion algorithms that fuse data from the four sensors both indoors and outdoors; and 3) develop an unobtrusive mechanical package that will enable the wear ability, durability, and extended use. The project is relevant to the NIH mission, because its long-term objective addresses a fundamental need of the target population: the ability to navigate dynamic and complex indoor and outdoor environments with comfort and ease. In particular, the project will give a new way finding technology to visually impaired and blind students that will improve their access to university and college campuses. The Phase I R&D will include three major steps: 1) To design and develop a wearable way finding hardware platform that consists of a single board computer and four sensors; 2) To implement and a Markov Localization sensor fusion framework for indoors and outdoors; 3) To develop a detailed mechanical design based upon the hardware platform that will enable device wear ability, durability, and extended use. The methods will consist of iterative hardware design, sensory data collection, testing of sensor fusion algorithms with respect to localization accuracy, and 3D computer aided design (CAD). This research is relevant to public health, because the proposed way finding technology will enable visually impaired navigators to safely navigate unfamiliar environments and avoid accidents caused by lack of vision.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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