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Assistive technology and assistive devices have been researched and developed to promote an independent daily life for visually impaired individuals. Navigation for the visually impaired may be one of the most challenging tasks due to high expectations on both the functionality and the mechanical specifications of the devices. This research aims at developing a multiple sensor-based hand-free device as a navigation aid to detect obstacles. The developed device incorporates a sensor unit and a feedback unit with either a wired or a wireless data communication setup. The working principle and the design criteria are identified with several working scenarios for potential applications. The implementation of the design into a prototype device is discussed in details. The prototype has been tested, and recommendations of possible improvements and future works are proposed.
Date of Conference: 1-3 March 2010