SmartCane uses ultrasonic waves to help visually impaired navigate better
There are endless technologies being built to benefit the visually impaired. Yet, in developing countries like India, a majority of visually impaired still use the age old white cane to navigate. While the white cane is still effective at detecting objects at the ground level, it fails as an assistive tool when it comes to detecting objects above the waist. As a solution, an Indian robotics researcher and inventor, Dr Rohan Paul has designed and developed the SmartCane – a battery operated walking cane which uses ultrasonic waves to detect objects and obstacles between knee and head height of the user.
SmartCane features ultrasonic wave projector in the grip of the cane. Fitted in with rechargeable battery the ultrasonic beam is projected to detect an obstacle in the environment. When an obstacle is detected, the projected beam reflects back providing the distance of the obstruction as a vibration to the blind user.
The ergonomically designed SmartCane allows the visually impaired to adjust the obstruction distance detection between 1.8 meters to 3 meters, depending on the environment the user is navigating.
SmartCane is a ready product and it is being used by visually impaired users in India and Africa to increase their travel time in various environments.