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Development of voice navigation system for the visually impaired by using IC tags

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5 Author(s)
Norihiko Takatori ; Department of Electrical Engineering, Tokai University, Japan ; Kengo Nojima ; Masashi Matsumoto ; Kenji Yanashima
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There are about 300,000 visually impaired persons in Japan. Most of them are old persons and, cannot become skillful in using a white cane, even if they make effort to learn how to use a white cane. Therefore, some guiding system that supports the independent activities of the visually impaired are required. In this paper, we will describe about a developed white cane system that supports the independent walking of the visually impaired in the indoor space. This system is composed of colored navigation lines that include IC tags and an intelligent white cane that has a navigation computer. In our system colored navigation lines that are put on the floor of the target space from the start point to the destination and IC tags that are set at the landmark point are used for indication of the route to the destination. The white cane has a color sensor, an IC tag transceiver and a computer system that includes a voice processor. This white cane senses the navigation line that has target color by a color sensor. When a color sensor finds the target color, the white cane informs a white cane user that he/she is on the navigation line by vibration. So, only following this vibration, the user can reach the destination. However, at some landmark points, guidance is necessary. At these points, an IC tag is set under the navigation line. The cane makes communication with the tag and informs the user about the land mark pint by pre recorded voice. Ten normal subjects who were blindfolded were tested with our developed system. All of them could walk along navigation line. And the IC tag information system worked well. Therefore, we have concluded that our system will be a very valuable one to support activities of the visually impaired

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2006. EMBS '06. 28th Annual International Conference of the IEEE

Date of Conference:

Aug. 30 2006-Sept. 3 2006