The first public test run was undertaken by student Daniel Innala Ahlmark - who is himself visually-impaired - along one of the busy corridors of the Lulea University of Technology's Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering Department
Researchers have developed and publicly tested a laser-guided feedback system which will help wheelchair-bound blind users to detect and avoid obstacles
The introduction of the white cane early in the last century gave blind and visually-impaired users a mobility tool that not only helped them to get around, but also allowed them to be seen by others. Now researchers from Sweden's Luleå University of Technology – the same place that designed the autonomous wheelchair – have developed and publicly tested a system which could potentially give wheelchair-bound blind people a virtual white stick to help them detect and avoid obstacles. An electric wheelchair has been fitted with a navigational laser scanner which provides virtual 3D maps of the surroundings, and sends feedback about any obstructions to the user via a haptic interface.
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