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MobiFree: A Set of Electronic Mobility Aids for the Blind

Lopes, S.I. ; Vieira, J. ; Lopes, O.F.F.L ; Rosa, P. R. M. R. ; Dias, N.A.S.D.

Procedia Computer Science Vol. 14, Nº 0, pp. 10 - 19, October, 2012.

ISSN (print): 0000-2010
ISSN (online): 1877-0509

Scimago Journal Ranking: (in )

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/j.procs.2012.10.002

The long cane and the dog guide, remain the most preferred methods by the blind people in the mobility and navigation tasks. The long cane works efficiently because it extends the tactile sensorial capabilities, operating as an important source of information for the visual impaired, mainly to test the floor texture and to detect obstacles at the floor-level. This paper describes the development of a set of electronic mobility aids for the blind. We will present a set of complementary electronic devices: an improved long cane (MobiFree Cane) that has the ability to detect holes and drop-offs at the floor- level; the concept of a pair of sunglasses (MobiFree Sunglasses) mainly focus in the detection of head-level obstacles and a directional speaker (MobiFree Echo) to obtain echo information of surrounding elements, i.e. long distance obstacles such as a wall or a car. All these devices were designed to be interconnected through a Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) centered on a smartphone (or PDA) with included GPS capabilities.