BlindSight: Ultrasonic Environment Sensing for the Visually Impaired

Christina Marie Lavarn, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Dominic P. Lopriore, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Nina Marie Fernandes, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Abstract

Each year, people with impaired vision suffer from a significant number of head injuries that often require hospitalization. Although white-canes and seeing-eye dogs provide the primary means of assistance to the visually impaired, they are often inadequate for detecting objects above waist level. Our product idea promises an elegant and affordable solution to this problem. BlindSight will detect objects above waist level, provide tactile feedback in a non-intrusive manner, be comfortable to wear and easy to use. A prototype has been developed over the course of this past year. This paper details the design and development of this device, as well as the challenges faced and the solutions implemented to overcome them.