Two researchers from the Center for Digital Technology and Management, Technical University of Munich, have developed a haptic feedback sleeve and goggle system that allows blind people to partially “see” with the skin of their arm. Manuel Zahan and Armaghan Ahmed Khan published a paper describing their sleeve and goggle system on the arXiv preprint server.
As the researchers note, despite advances in technology aimed at assisting the visually impaired, the best tool to help navigate in public is still the cane. In this new effort, the researchers created a system they believe could help blind people and people with other vision problems navigate public spaces more easily.
The system consists of a pair of glasses equipped with dual infrared cameras. The cameras create a 3D stereoscopic image of the environment in front of the goggles. The imagery is sent to a small computer that translates the visual data into haptic data, which is sent to the haptic sleeve. Inside the sleeve are 5 x 5 small pads that are pressed against the forearm when the sleeve is worn. The pads vibrate as a means of communicating visual data. Images that are closer together vibrate more strongly than images that are far away. For example, as a person wearing the system moves into a tunnel, pads at the perimeter of the array will begin to vibrate, alerting the user to the presence of walls. If the tunnel is narrow, the pads will vibrate more strongly than if they are wide. Similarly, pads representing the outline of a person will vibrate more strongly as they approach that person and then stop as they pass.
The researchers point out that their system involves the use of neither hands or ears; Thus, users can continue to use both to help navigate. They also note that since the system uses infrared cameras, it can be used in complete darkness. During testing, they found that users were able to use the system immediately and became more proficient with practice.
Flexible skin patch provides haptic feedback from a human operator to a remotely operated robot
Manuel Zahan, Armaghan Ahmed Khan, Obstacle avoidance for blind people using a 3D camera and a haptic feedback sleeve. arXiv:2201.04453v1 [cs.HC]arxiv.org/abs/2201.04453
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Citation: Haptic feedback sleeve and goggles allow blind people to ‘see’ with their arm (2022, Jan 24), March 30, 2022 at https://techxplore.com/news/2022-01-haptic-feedback-sleeve- Retrieved from googles-people.html
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