Bats Inspired To Devise A Smart Walking Cane For The Blind
Blind people started using special canes to detect obstacles on their way a long ago in the medieval times.
Nothing seemed to have changed in the design of this accessory, except of a special coloring warning drivers that a pedestrian at the crossing is blind.
However, Indian developers from National Institute of Technology Delhi devised a cane that warns a person about obstacles a few meters before it.
Therefore, it eliminates the necessity of cane direct contact with an obstacle, making a blind person travelling much easier.
The handle scans the sounds (like bats and dolphins do it) and works as an ultrasound scanner. It consists of an ultrasound locator and a scanner.
The vibration of two buttons on its handle indicates an obstacle on the way. The vibration strength infers the distance to the object.
The experiments have shown that the blind owning this cane overcame much longer distances for the same time period than using a usual cane.
One more brilliant advantage of such a smart cane is its ability to detect the obstacles not touching the ground, so it is impossible to detect them using a usual cane. Such obstacles can be cause of some injuries for a blind person (for example, they can be tree branches, some hanged objects, etc.).