You are hereSmart White Cane Project

Smart White Cane Project


By Unassigned Robot - Posted on 01 September 2010

Status: 
new

GOAL:
Developing a better white cane for blind people.
The ultimate goal is to be able to navigate Tokyo without being run over.

vip = visually impaired person

IDEAS:
GPS
Digital Compass
Vibrating feedback
Voice recognition
Speech synthesis
Solar rechargeable
Bone-conducting headphones

POSSIBLE IMPLEMENTATION:
Have a "compass" circle on the cane or something that constant puts out a
tiny tangible signal indicating what direction you are.

Giving directions (using a map and the GPS) via speech synthesis (ie: You are now on Megi-dori, turn left).

Communication with morse code via vibration

AR for blind (using digital marker paint on the street). would need a pico-itx computer and webcam to decode the marker. might be a problem during winter or if the street gets really dirty. what's nice about this solution is that anyone equipped with a cellphone camera could finally know the name of the street and other informations...

Another useful technology would be a radio transmitted device for signaling that a vip wants to cross the street (starting the tune).

HARDWARE:
Taylan Ayken offered to lend a GPS module

Small piezo or speaker

IR range sensor 15$:
could be useful to detect drop (short range)

Bone-conducting headphone 110$:
http://www.audioboneheadphones.com/shopping/cart.php?m=product_list&c=2

Ultrasonic 26$:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=639

GPS (Taylan Ayken) 64$:
http://en.item.rakuten.com/ida-online/tk-1315la-gr-159/

GPS 60$:
http://www.locosystech.com/product.php?zln=en&id=20

GPS, digital compass, and 3-axis accelerometer ?$:
http://www.locosystech.com/product.php?zln=en&id=57

Voice recognition 58$:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9753

Speech synthesis 25$:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9578
if wearable computer -> http://open-jtalk.sourceforge.net/

Ambient Light Sensor 1.50$:
Always nice to know if people can see you (if it's pitch black outside). Maybe turning on automagically a led.

Temperature Sensor (KTY-13-5):
Well, this one is more a gadget, someone could ask (voice recognition) for the actual temperature.

Flexible solar panel (26$)
http://www.siliconsolar.com/flexible-solar-panels-6v-051293-p-501001.html

Small wearable computer +-235$:
http://www.itxdepot.com/xcart/product.php?productid=2187&cat=44023&bests...
With this solution, it would be more simpler (voice recognition/synthesis) in many ways, but more heavy (battery). Also it would be possible to use a small camera (providing more information) like facial recognition (is there a human around me, facial expression), object recognition etc. Like my biscuit box computer (http://www.workinprogress.ca/biscuit), sadly it needs 23 watts. Of course there are other solution (i am sure less power hungry).

DRAWING:

* a wire led would be better instead of a single led
** possibility to use a webcam for image processing
*** the battery inside the cane might not be needed if using a usb cable to connect the cane with the pico-itx (telephone wire with usb connector)
**** it would be nice to avoid a wire connection with the cane using a bluetooth module for example: http://www.mdfly.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=63
***** maybe adding a wheel
****** is yellow tracking color a good idea (am i still on the vip track)

VOICE RECOGNITION COMMAND:
Time: giving the actual time
Temperature: reading the sensor
Light: is it pitch black
Current location: where am i
Directions: pre-programmed places
Music: put some music in the speaker
Beep: i am behind you and you are working on my yellow track

TO KNOW:
Global Positioning System satellites accuracy is about 10 feet (three metres)

The WHO estimates that in 2002 there were 161 million visually impaired people in the world (about 2.6% of the total population).

TO INVESTIGATE:
Synthetic intelligence (to be release in 2011) - price unknown:
http://e1.eksdyne.com/

Wearable computer helps blind people navigate:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2006/10/10/tech-nav.html

Mobile OCR, Face and Object Recognition for the Blind
http://www.seeingwithsound.com/ocr.htm

Hi-tech:
http://www.wimp.com/blindsight/

Decipher outdoor scenes
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-09/cmu-cmr090910.php

KGS:
http://www.kgs-jpn.co.jp/eindex.html

QUESTIONS:

How to hook-up a rechargeable battery to a pico-itx? would it be possible (as an option) to add a solar panel for reducing the power consumption from the battery?

right now, i have spotted this battery rated 14.4V 5200mah:
http://www.powerbookmedic.com/iBook-Battery-Clamshell-G3--Li-Ion-Recharg...

with this charger:
http://www.powerbookmedic.com/VST-Dual-Battery-Charger-SCHB-Clamshell---...

and ldo voltage regulator:
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=576-222...

or this one:
http://www.batteryspace.com/lifepo418650battery128v2700mahsidebyside3456...

this regulator:
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=LTC3780...
http://store.mp3car.com/Intelligent_DC_DC_Converter_with_USB_Interface_p...
http://cgi.ebay.com/Mini-ITX-M2-Car-PC-DC-DC-150W-8V-28V-ATX-Power-PSU-1...

Tuesday (7:30 PM)
Open House Meeting
水曜日 (7:30 PM)
日本語 Meeting

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