Title: Development of a shoe-mounted assistive user interface for navigation

Authors: J. Zhang, C.W. Lip, S.K. Ong, A.Y.C. Nee

Addresses: Mechanical Engineering Department, National University of Singapore, 9 Engineering Drive 1, 117576, Singapore. ' Mechanical Engineering Department, National University of Singapore, 9 Engineering Drive 1, 117576, Singapore. ' Mechanical Engineering Department, National University of Singapore, 9 Engineering Drive 1, 117576, Singapore. ' Mechanical Engineering Department, National University of Singapore, 9 Engineering Drive 1, 117576, Singapore

Abstract: Assistive technology and assistive devices have been researched and developed to promote an independent daily life for visually impaired individuals. Navigation for the visually impaired may be one of the most challenging tasks due to high expectations on both the functionality and the mechanical specifications of the devices. This research aims at developing a multiple-sensor-based hand-free device as a navigation aid to detect obstacles. The developed device incorporates a sensor unit and a feedback unit with either a wired or a wireless data communication set-up. The working principle and the design criteria are identified with several working scenarios for potential applications. The implementation of the design into a prototype device is discussed in details. The prototype has been tested, and recommendations of possible improvements and future works are proposed.

Keywords: navigation systems; shoe-mounted assistive devices; infrared-based proximity detection; assistive technology; independent life; visually impaired; visual impairment; multi-sensor devices; multiple sensors; hands-free devices; shoes.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSNET.2011.037300

International Journal of Sensor Networks, 2011 Vol.9 No.1, pp.3 - 12

Available online: 02 Dec 2010 *

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