Development of the navigation system for the visually impaired by using white cane.


A white cane is a typical support instrument for the visually impaired. They use a white cane for the detection of obstacles while walking. So, the area where they have a mental map, they can walk using white cane without help of others. However, they cannot walk independently in the unknown area, even if they use a white cane. Because, a white cane is a detecting device for obstacles and not a navigation device for there correcting route. Now, we are developing the navigation system for the visually impaired which uses indoor space. In Japan, sometimes colored guide lines to the destination are used for a normal person. These lines are attached on the floor, we can reach the destination, if we walk along one of these line. In our system, a developed new white cane senses one colored guide line, and makes notice to a user by vibration. This system recognizes the color of the line stuck on the floor by the optical sensor attached in the white cane. And in order to guide still more smoothly, infrared beacons (optical beacon), which can perform voice guidance, are also used.

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    ABSTRACT: Aim: It is known that people who are blind/visually impaired find it difficult to move, especially in unknown places. Usually the only help they have is their walking stick (white cane), a guide dog and sometimes special warning sounds or road signals at specific positions. Material and Method: In this paper we are trying to find a solution on how to build an appropriate navigating system for blind people. Results: Based on benefits of powerful properties of mobile WiMAX standard we suggest an important navigate application which can translate a digital visual environment properly for blind/visually impaired users through a plethora of combinations such as voice, brain or tongue signals. Conclusions: We believe that such an idea will be an initial point for a plethora of applications which will eliminate walking disabilities of blind/visually people.
    Applied Medical Informatics 01/0210; 26(1).
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we describe about a developed navigation system that supports the independent walking of the visually impaired in the indoor space. Our developed instrument consists of a navigation system and a map information system. These systems are installed on a white cane. Our navigation system can follow a colored navigation line that is set on the floor. In this system, a color sensor installed on the tip of a white cane senses the colored navigation line, and the system informs the visually impaired that he/she is walking along the navigation line by vibration. The color recognition system is controlled by a one-chip microprocessor and this system can discriminate 6 colored navigation lines. RFID tags and a receiver for these tags are used in the map information system. The RFID tags and the RFID tag receiver are also installed on a white cane. The receiver receives tag information and notifies map information to the user by mp3 formatted pre-recorded voice. Three normal subjects who were blindfolded with an eye mask were tested with this system. All of them were able to walk along the navigation line. The performance of the map information system was good. Therefore, our system will be extremely valuable in supporting the activities of the visually impaired.
    Conference proceedings: ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference 01/2009; 2009:831-4. DOI:10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5333499
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    ABSTRACT: Anyuser navigation is the capability of UNAVIT to provide navigation assistance that will best meet the needs and preferences of users which may vary greatly. In order to better understand users’ needs and preferences, users are grouped into the following five categories: general population, mobility-impaired, visually-impaired, cognitively-impaired and elderly. Current navigation systems primarily address the needs and preferences of the general population category and fall short in handling the special needs and preferences of users in the other four categories. There are permanent physical barriers in both outdoor and indoor environments that affect mobility of users in each category. Examples of permanent environmental barriers in outdoor sidewalk segments include slope, surface, and curbs; those in indoor hallway networks might include protruding objects and width. There are also temporary environmental barriers in both the outdoors and indoors that affect mobility of users in each category. Examples of such temporary barriers in the outdoors are snow, rain, and darkness; barriers that might exist indoors include construction and out-of-order elevators.
    Universal Navigation on Smartphones, 02/2011: pages 115-133;
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