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Vybrision, Vision Through Vibration

$10,000 goal

Campaign created 7 months ago
What problem does the system address?

There are currently many different ways for the blind to maneuver through the world, but each have drawbacks and limitations. For example, guide dogs cannot communicate what type of obstacle the user is facing, only that there is one. This can lead to confusion if the user's normal route to the grocery store is being blocked by construction. Another example is the white cane, which gives the user the ability to identify obstacles themselves but only on the ground, leaving the user vulnerable to low hanging objects and eye level obstacles. Pulse will solve these problems by being able to communicate the user about these types of objects.


What does the system do?

Pulse is an efficient, lightweight, cost effective device that will allow individuals who are visually impaired to navigate through their day-to-day activities more easily. Sensors on the device will collect images as well as distances to detect the locations of obstacles in front of the user. The device will also be able to differentiate certain objects from others, for example a car from a person, and vibrate in different ways to inform the user.




System Usage

First the user will put on the vibration harness holding the sensors and camera. The user will put their head between the two straps of the harness that go over the shoulders. Then, the user will buckle the belt part of the harness around their chest. Finally, the user will velcro together the fabric part of the system with the vibration motors to ensure the vibrations can be clearly felt. A button that the user holds or is located near the buckle of the harness will be pressed to turn the system on. If the system is functioning properly one beep will be heard from the speaker. If the batteries are low, 3 quick beeps will be emitted. Once it is clear that the system is operating properly the vibration belt will start vibrating to indicate that objects are nearby. The user will begin to feel at most 3 vibration motors that will vibrate based on the angle the vibration motor is relative to the user, as well as based on how far away the user is. If the object is closer to the user the user will feel vibrations closer to their chest, while if an object is further away a user will feel vibration closer to their abdomen. If the user wants to identify an object they will push the button on the harness and a picture will be taken with the built in camera. When the picture is analyzed and the object is identified, the user will feel a specific vibration pattern unique to the object that was detected. The system will also be able to recharge through a micro USB port on the back of the harness. All the user needs to do is plug in the micro USB to an appropriate port and the system will recharge itself.


Limitations

One limitation of this project is object variety. After extensive testing in different environments there will still be a number of objects that will not have been tested. Because of this, the system will have to identify objects which it has never seen before, and that could lead to errors in identification. One example that could occur is a person dressed in a tree costume, if the person was identified as a tree but was moving, the user could get confused as to why a tree was moving. Unfortunately it is impossible for us to envision every scenario, so the user will have to be prepared for the unexpected. Regardless of whether the object is recognized correctly however, the ToF sensors and rangefinder will operate properly.




The other limitation is human sensitivity to vibrations. There will only be a certain amount of short vibration patterns that a person will be able to distinguish. This means that there will be a limited number of object types that can be communicated to the user. Due to this, objects that do not have a specific vibration will ether have to be put into a similar category or labeled as a shape and the user will not know what the obstacle is. One example could be a user looking to throw away some trash and mistakenly putting it in a mailbox.
 
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$10,000 goal

Campaign created 7 months ago
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