A collaborative European project to build a system that converts visual input into audio signals may lead to a practical product to help the blind navigate. CASBliP, or Cognitive Aid System for Blind People, involves scientists and technology developed at the University of Bristol, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Universidad de La Laguna, and Siemens AG. By bringing together specialists in computer vision, visualization, 3D modeling, and sensor technology, the CASBliP can already create an audio representation of its physical environment.
Project’s technological objectives from the info page:
The main objective is to obtain a device for the whole V. I. community: totally blind, partially sighted, and people in a situation of progressive loss of vision. To integrate the developments of University of Bristol (in image segmentation and image enhancement), Siemens (3D Real World perception) and Universidad de La Laguna (in audio representation of space) into a unique basic prototype with the purpose of assisting visually impaired people in mobility in outdoor spaces. To develop new ways of interfacing with V. I. people: to develop a visual interface (producing coloured and simplified images) for the partially blind people and to develop an acoustic interface (producing semantic and pixelated acoustic maps) for the totally blind. To develop a system able to calculate a person’s head orientation in a static and dynamic situation. To integrate in the prototype the 3D modelling system and the intelligent system for the detection of risks and obstacles. To integrate in a common platform all the data acquired from the environment from different sources: artificial vision system, 3D Real World Recognition System, Positioning system. This platform has to be open. To generate the necessary communication protocols to integrate all the mentioned modules. To finally develop a prototype which can be commercialised. During the project a simple device able to make a direct transformation from the acquisition system into an acoustic representation will be created as a final product (month 18).
Project page: CASBliP…
(hat tip: The Engineer)