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Sensing Surrounding 3-D Space for Navigation of the Blind

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1 Author(s)
Bourbakis, N. ; Wright State Univ., Dayton

This article presents a two-dimensional (2-D) vibration array for detecting dynamic changes in three-dimensional (3-D) space during navigation and provides these changes in real time to visually impaired users (in a form of vibration) to develop a 3-D sensing of the space and assist their navigation in their working and living environment. This vibration array is a part of the Tyflos prototype device (consisting of two tiny cameras, a microphone, an ear speaker mounted into a pair of dark glasses and connected into a portable PC) for blind individuals. The overall idea is of detecting changes in a 3-D space is based on fusing range data and image data captured by the cameras and creating the 3-D representation of the surrounding space. This 3-D representation of the space and its changes are mapped onto a 2-D vibration array placed on the chest of the blind user. The degree of vibration offers a sensing of the 3-D space and its changes to the user. It is concluded that the power conception will be associated with the potential of the batteries of the portable computer (notebook). Thus, the visually impaired user has to recharge the batteries after a certain time or carry additional batteries connected to notebook.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 1 )