Complete Build Instructions:
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– Approximate 4 feet of range
– Variable haptic sensation (frequency and intensity of vibrations increase as range decreases)
– Just over 180 degree field of view from 5 Parallax Ping))) Ultrasonic Rangefinders
I have recently been introduced to some new and interesting people with passions for ideas and a belief that our power to be creative with technologies can really make a difference in the world. I used this as a springboard to create the H.A.L.O. This stands for Haptic (meaning touch) Assisted Location of Obstacles. I had watched an episode of “Superhumans” which featured a blind man who used a series of clicks, like a bat, to echo locate his surroundings. I got to thinking about other blind people and their ability to navigate freely – perhaps without the use of a guide dog or cane.
The solution uses a series of rangefinders that take input from sensors and output feedback to pulse vibration motors placed on a person’s head. As a person gets closer to an object the intensity and frequency of the vibration increases – it’s directly proportional to the distance of an object. If a region was lacking feedback, then it is safe to proceed in that direction.
Perhaps this can be useful for the visually impaired to have the freedom to possibly move about hands-free without the assistance of a cane or seeing eye dog, or serve as a complementary enhancement to those solutions. Technology has undoubtedly made our daily lives better. By using a few inexpensive components and sensors, I’ve made a device that will allow the blind to navigate their surroundings and avoid collisions.
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