This is a final year project by the students of Cornell University and utilizes ultrasonic range finders and haptic feedback to facilitate indoor navigation for the visually impaired. It uses auditory cues, such as sounds from the natural environment or sounds created artificially, to determine an individual’s surrounding physical space for the purpose of navigation. The device is a head-mounted navigation system with a wearable tactile sensor connected via a long flexible wire and also instructs the user to turn either left or right depending upon the obstacles.
The microcontroller used for the ultrasonic wayfinder is the ATmega1284 which is mounted on a custom made PCB. Apart from it, there are vibrating-disc type motor which were used as a haptic feedback. The device detects objects quickly with 1 inch resolution between 0 inches to 254 inches. However the accuracy will mostly depend upon the ultrasonic sensor used. The project is entirely made for indoor use as it can’t detect obstacle placed at 5 meters. They also have a plan to put on an additional range finder mainly on the head to detect ramps and stairs.