[tabi] Re: [VICUG-L] [leadership] Students Develop Cane With E-Tags to Guide Blind

  • From: "Blackjack" <blackjack2@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 9 Aug 2009 21:11:55 -0400

This is good don't know how well it would be implemented. The part about a
gps integrated in the cane maybe up towards the handle where it would not
get bang up. I think this would work real well. I might just buy one with
the gps in it.


-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Lynn Evans
Sent: Sunday, August 09, 2009 9:02 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] [VICUG-L] [leadership] Students Develop Cane With E-Tags to
Guide Blind

August 3, 2009
Students Develop Cane With E-Tags to Guide Blind By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 3:33 p.m.  ET

DETROIT (AP) -- A cane equipped with the technology that retailers use to
tag merchandise could help blind people avoid obstacles.

An engineering professor and five students at Central Michigan University
have created a ''Smart Cane'' to read electronic navigational tags installed
between buildings to aid the blind in reaching their destinations more

''This project started as a way for me to teach students to see and
understand the ways that engineering can be used for the greater good,''
said Kumar Yelamarthi, the professor and project leader.  ''We wanted to do
something that would help people and make our campus more accessible.''

During the spring term, Yelamarthi and five senior engineering students
tested the cane, which is equipped with Radio Frequency Identification
technology, similar to what retailers put on products to keep them from
being stolen.

The Smart Cane contains an ultrasonic sensor that is paired with a miniature
navigational system inside a messenger-style bag worn across the shoulder.

For the test, the students installed identification tags between two
buildings on the campus in Mount Pleasant, Mich..  A speaker located on the
bag strap gave audio alerts when the system detected an obstacle and told
the user which direction to move.

Students wearing glasses that simulate visual impairment tested the cane.

The students also created a vibrating glove to assist those who are both
visually and hearing-impaired.

Yelamarthi said it's one of the first outdoor applications of RFID and said
he plans for students in upcoming classes to further refine the system while
he seeks grants to speed the research.

The next step probably involves using the system in a wider area.  
Down the
line, Yelamarthi wants to work toward integrating the Smart Cane's data with

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press

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