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Small, Cheap, Smart, and Simple
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This project develops an electronic mobility aid for individuals with low vision or blindness to prevent collision with overhanging obstacles not detected by standard methods such as the cane. This electronic mobility aid fulfills the criteria of (1) small size, (2) low cost, (3) low cognitive demands, and (4) hands-free operation. Phase I of the project focuses on novel algorithms to minimize cognitive demands on the user, development of custom circuitry for interfacing with an ultrasound emitter and receiver, design of the circuit board and housing, firmware for the embedded controller, and low-power considerations for extended battery life. Laboratory tests evaluate the prototype's specifications for obstacle identification, rejection of obstacles not posing an immediate threat, battery life, and beam width. The device is also tested in an outdoor urban setting. In addition, an expert consultant guides development and evaluates the device’s suitability for individuals with visual impairments.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *