MIT researchers have designed a prototype of a device to assist the visually impaired with navigating an area without using a cane

MIT researchers from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory designed a wearable system prototype made to assist the visually impaired with navigating their surroundings and locate objects in their path.

The device uses a 3D depth-sensing camera wrapped around the wearer's chest to inform them of objects in their path through an electronically refreshing Braille pad. This pad provides context to the objects, such as labeling them ‘c' for chair and ‘t' for table. The system even comes with a belt to wrap around the wearers chest, designed to vibrate harder the close they get to an object. Although the device doesn't require the wearer to use a cane, they can use one if they wish, as it helps the camera to map the environment even faster.

The MIT researchers plan to improve the device for outdoor use and soon they will have a stereo vision camera with a larger library of objects installed to it.

MIT Wearable Prototype

MIT researchers from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory designed a wearable system prototype made to assist the visually impaired with navigating their surroundings and locate objects in their path.

The device uses a 3D depth-sensing camera wrapped around the wearer's chest to inform them of objects in their path through an electronically refreshing Braille pad. This pad provides context to the objects, such as labeling them ‘c' for chair and ‘t' for table. The system even comes with a belt to wrap around the wearers chest, designed to vibrate harder the close they get to an object. Although the device doesn't require the wearer to use a cane, they can use one if they wish, as it helps the camera to map the environment even faster.