Helwan University Egypt Students have developed ‘Smart Stick’ for blind that detect obstacle in real-time

Visually impaired people find difficulties detecting obstacles in front of them, during walking in the street, which makes it dangerous. The smart stick comes as a proposed solution to enable them to identify the world around. In this paper we propose a solution, represented in a smart stick with infrared sensor to detect stair-cases and pair of ultrasonic sensor to detect any other obstacles in front of the user, within a range of four meters.

Moreover, another sensor is placed at the bottom of the stick for the sake of avoiding puddles. Speech warning messages and the vibration motor are activated when any obstacle is detected. This proposed system uses the microcontroller 18F46K80 embedded system, vibration motor and ISD1932 flash memory. The stick is capable of detecting all obstacles in the range 4 meter during 39 ms and gives a suitable respect message empowering blind to move twice his normal speed because she/he feels safe. The smart stick is of low cost, fast response, low power consumption, light weight and ability to fold.

It was developed by, Ayat Nada1, Samia Mashelly2, Mahmoud A. Fakhr3 Computers and Systems, Electronics Research Institute. Giza, Egypt.

Their objective was;

Designed stick to detect obstacles and its able to recognize and speak aloud the upward and downward
stairs or puddles.
The training of product isn’t as expensive as training in other product. Our training is just
description of stick component and usage position.
It has two facilities to transmit information to the blind, vibration motor in the hand stick and speech warning message kit that preserving and it’s natural dimension to keep it user friendly.
With aid of earphone the speech warning message kit is able to speak aloud warning message to the blind.
Team achieved very fast response time calculated as 39 ms in average distance ≤400 cm before hitting the obstacles.
Sensors:
  Team used Infrared sensor to recognize small obstacle but with less accuracy than laser sensors. However using laser sensor it was getting  costly. Additionally they added  Ultrasonic sensor for close obstacles unlike laser one, when an object is so close the laser sensor (less than 15 cm) can’t get an accurate reading. Moreover, it should be noted that radar sensors can easily detect near and far obstacles with equal perform once, but their medium accuracy doesn’t allow them detecting small obstacles.

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