Vision Impaired Wayfinding with Doppler Velocimeter

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43EY021412-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43EY021412
Amount: $168,065.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solitcitation Year: 2011
Solitcitation Topic Code: NEI
Solitcitation Number: PA10-050
Small Business Information
6901 E. Fish Lake Road, Maple Grove, MN, -
Duns: 140696332
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (612) 730-1091
Business Contact
Phone: (612) 730-1091
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The objective is to use a new innovative sensor technology called a Doppler velocimeter (DV) for solving the problem of wayfinding indoors for the vision impaired. By performing a Doppler measurement of the floor movement relative to the walking person it is possible to determine the along-track velocity, the cross-track velocity and the vertical (up or down) velocity. From this data it is possible to accurately calculate your position inside a building from a starting point at an entrance. The significant innovation in this technology over other vision impaired indoor navigation solutions is that it does not require any expensive installation of infrastructure within a building to provide wayfinding. This has the potential of having a major impact on providing a practical indoor wayfinding product for the vision impaired. Wayfinding through an unfamiliar building for persons who are blind or have low vision is a challenging task. The ability of a person to move freelywithin public and commercial buildings is an important factor for integration and independence of these individuals within educational institutions, work and social environments. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Current estimates suggest that there are12 million people in the U.S who have some form of uncorrected vision impairment, with approximately 3.4 million having low vision or legal blindness. Because of demographic trends, particularly the aging of the American population, these studies projecta doubling of these numbers by 2030. A system that provides independent navigation, including location determination and directions to a destination, is an important aspect in achieving full participation within occupational and educational settings.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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