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Design and implementation of haptic virtual environments for the training of the visually impaired

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5 Author(s)
Tzovaras, D. ; Center for Res. & Technol. Hellas, Informatics & Telematics Inst., Thessaloniki, Greece ; Nikolakis, G. ; Fergadis, G. ; Malasiotis, S.
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This paper presents a haptic virtual reality (VR) tool developed for the training of the visually impaired. The proposed approach focuses on the development of a highly interactive and extensible haptic VR training system (the ENORASI VR training system) that allows visually impaired, to study and interact with various virtual objects in specially designed virtual environments, while allowing designers to produce and customize these configurations. Based on the system prototype and the use of the CyberGrasp haptic device, a number of custom applications have been developed. An efficient collision detection algorithm is also introduced, by extending the proximity query package (PQP) algorithm to handle five points of contact (a case studied with the use of CyberGrasp). Two test categories were identified and corresponding tests were developed for each category. The training scenarios include: object recognition and manipulation and cane simulation, used for performing realistic navigation tasks. Twenty-six blind persons conducted the tests and the evaluation results have shown the degree of acceptance of the technology and the feasibility of the proposed approach.

Published in:

Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

June 2004

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