Mobility AT: The Batcane (UltraCane)
The use of the long cane by visually impaired people as an obstacle detector is long standing. More recently the basic cane design has been equipped with laser or ultrasound transmitters and sensors and an interpretive human interface to improve its effectiveness, the objective being to allow safe travel by a visually impaired person. This chapter reports an important case study of the steps involved indeveloping an advanced technology obstacle avoidance cane that used bat echolocation signal processing techniques and ultrasonic technology. The final cane design is now marketed worldwide as the UltraCane™.
The chapter reviews the basic technological principles for ultrasonic waves and the advanced signal processing methods used. There is an extended discussion of all the design and construction issues followed by a description of the final engineering and prototype test phase. The chapter closes with an examination of the issues involved in bringing the prototype to eventual commercialisation.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Fenton, M.B., 1995, Natural history and biosonar signals, In: Hearing by Bats (ed. A.N. Popper and R.R. Fay), pp37–86, Springer-Verlag, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Griffin, D., 1958, Listening in the Dark, Yale University PressGoogle Scholar
- Møhl, B., 1988, Target detection by echolocating bats, In: Animal Sonar: Processes and Performance, (ed. P.E. Nachitgall and P.W.B. Moore), pp. 435–450, Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Morse, P.M., 1948, Vibration and Sound (2nd Ed.), McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Rossing, T.D., and Fletcher, N.H., 2004, Principles of vibration and sound (2nd Ed.), Springer-Verlag, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Stein, B.E., and Meredith, M.A., 1993, The merging of the senses, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. USAGoogle Scholar
- Waters, D.A., and Jones, G., 1995, Echolocation call structure and intensity in five species of insectivorous bats, J. Experimental Biology, Vol. 198, pp. 475–489Google Scholar
- Waters, D.A., Rydell, J., and Jones, G., 1995, Echolocation call design and limits on prey size: a case study using the aerial-hawking bat Nyctalus leisleri, Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 17, pp. 312–328Google Scholar
- Wells P.N.T., 1969, Physical principles of ultrasonic diagnosis, Academic PressGoogle Scholar
- www.UltraCane.com – more information about the UltraCane and its developmentGoogle Scholar