At Texas A&M University a team of students has created a smart cane that can help visually impaired people to avoid obstacles. The Navigational & Object Visual Assistant (NOVA) is a prototype device that sends out ultrasonic signals in front of the user and vibrates when it detects something.
The ultrasonic sensor is connected to motors that vibrate via an analog to digital converter. The stronger the returning signal from the ultrasonic sensor, the stronger the motors vibrate. The sensor is also tuned to focus on objects above the waist, the very ones that are hard to spot with a dumb cane.
To make the system even cooler, the team developed a smartphone app that communicates with the cane to also provide audio feedback, such as telling the user to turn right or left. In the future it can surely be interfaced with GPS navigation on the phone to further expand the cane’s capabilities.
Here’s a video of the students presenting their project:
Via: Texas A&M…