Menu Close

AI-equipped backpack allows the blind to walk in public without dogs or cane

A team of researchers at the University of Georgia has created a backpack equipped with AI gear aimed at replacing guide dogs and canes for the blind. Intel has published a News Byte describing the new technology on their Newsroom page.

Technology to help get around in public has been improving in recent years, thanks mostly to smartphone apps. But such apps, the team notes, are not sufficient given the technology available. To make a better assistance system, the group designed an AI system that could be placed in a backpack and worn by a to give them much better clues about their environment.

The backpack holds a smart AI system running on a laptop, and is fitted with OAK-D cameras (which, in addition to providing obstacle information, can also provide ) hidden in a vest and also in a waist pack. The cameras run Intel’s Movidius VPU and are programmed using the OpenVINO toolkit. The waist pack also holds batteries for the system. The AI system was trained to recognize objects a sighted pedestrian would see when walking around in a town or city, such as cars, bicycles, other pedestrians or even overhanging tree limbs.

The system was also trained to recognize typical terrain, such as sidewalks, grass, curbs and pavement—and also a host of road signs. The system can read the words and convert them to messages for the user. The system also has a GPS device and a receiver connected to a microphone so that the user can speak to the system. The user receives spoken messages from the system via Bluetooth earpiece.

In practice, a user puts on the and fannypack and heads out into the real world (for up to eight hours). The user can choose to listen to a stream of comments that describe the immediate vicinity, and the system responds to questions. In either case, the system alerts the user to obstacles such as curbs, benches, potted plants and other people. It also gives them advance warning of upcoming crosswalks, and because of the depth information data, can alert the user to impending inclines and declines in the path ahead.

Article: AI-equipped backpack allows the blind to walk in public without dogs or cane

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(UN General Assembly, 1948) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1. All human beings are free and equal 2. No discrimination 3. Right to life 4. No slavery 5. No torture and inhuman treatment 6. Same right to use law 7. Equal before the law 8. Right to be treated fair by court 9. No unfair detainment 10. Right to trial 11. Innocent until proved guilty 12. Right to privacy 13. Freedom to movement and residence 14. Right to asylum 15. Right to nationality 16. Rights to marry and have family 17. Right to own things 18. Freedom of thought and religion 19. Freedom of opinion and expression 20. Right to assemble 21. Right to democracy 22. Right to social security 23. Right to work 24. Right to rest and holiday 25. Right of social service 26. Right to education 27. Right of cultural and art 28. Freedom around the world 29. Subject to law 30. Human rights can’t be taken away