---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 1997 01:54:22 -0400
Reply-To: Blind-x Blind Exchange & Discussion
Subject: Intelligent Cane (Forward)
This came through on another list to which I belong, and I thought that
it would be of interest to those on this list. Take care and God bless!
Robotic White Cane Sees For The Blind
LONDON - U.S. researchers have developed an intelligent white
cane that can help blind people spot obstacles blocking their way,
New Science magazine said today.
The prototype GuideCane looks like an upright vacuum cleaner,
weighs about four kilograms (8.8 pounds) and can see better than the
Many industrial robots are strong and capable, but almost blind,"
Johann Borenstein of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, one of
the researchers who developed the cane, told the magazine.
The intelligent cane we have created for the blind is the opposite."
The cane uses a built-in computer that intercepts data from sensors
that scan the area around it. Every 50 milliseconds it calculates the
best route and steers the device in the best direction.
Borenstein said the cane is easier to care for than a guide dog which
requires feeding and regular exercise, but admits that at the moment it
can only operate on smooth surfaces, doesn't work on stairs and can't
recognise overhanging obstacles.
He plans to remedy the problems by inserting upward pointing
sensors into the device.
Ultimately, we would like to incorporate a global positioning satellite
receiver, so that users could choose a destination, and the GuideCane
would steer them along the best course," he said.
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 22:58:44 -0700
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