30 May '16, 4pm

Pothole Detection for the Visually Impaired

Pothole Detection for the Visually Impaired

Over the years, researchers and companies have invented plenty of devices to help people with visual impairments avoid objects such as a desk or chair. Many of these gadgets used ultrasonic sensors to detect such hazards. Just to name a few, there was the discontinued Pathsounder (which hung around a person’s neck), the cumbersome NavBelt (worn around the waist), and the wheeled GuideCane . However, there’s another type of obstacle that lurks underfoot—slight depressions in the ground such as steps, curbs, or divots that can cause a person to stumble or a wheelchair to suddenly turn awry. For these subtle features, most high-tech detection systems don’t work very well. “There’s nothing in existence that we know of that detects non-protruding hazards,” says Elaine Wong , an electrical engineer at Australia’s University of Melbourne. With the help of two nonprofit partners a...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/devices/...

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