[nfbwatlk] Interesting technology

PUBLIC RADIO 113 publicradio113 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 12 15:21:56 CST 2011

My sister, Julie sent this my direction.  I appreciate her comment at the
end.  What are your thoughts?

Copied from Instructables:

Using the iRobot Roomba Create, I have prototyped a device called
eyeRobot. It will guide blind and visually impaired users through
cluttered and populated environments by using the Roomba as a base to
marry the simplicity of the traditional white cane with the instincts
of a seeing-eye dog. The user indicates his/her desired motion by
intuitively pushing on and twisting the handle. The robot takes this
information and finds a clear path down a hallway or across a room,
using sonar to steer the user in a suitable direction around static
and dynamic obstacles. The user then follows behind the robot as it
guides the user in the desired direction by the noticeable force felt
through the handle. This robotic option requires little training: push
to go, pull to stop, twist to turn. The foresight the rangefinders
provide is similar to a seeing eye dog, and is a considerable
advantage over the constant trial and error that marks the use of the
white cane. Yet eyeRobot still provides a much cheaper alternative
than guide dogs, which cost over $12,000 and are useful for only 5
years, while the prototype was built for well under $400. It is also a
relatively simple machine, requiring a few inexpensive sensors,
various potentiometers, some hardware, and of course, a Roomba Create.


and then your battery goes dead in an hour and you need your cane or
dog to find your way out. but its a neat idea.

Paul Van Dyck




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