Electronic Systems Aiding Spatial Orientation and Mobility of the Visually Impaired
The problem of out-door mobility of the visually impaired and a review of key assistive technologies aiding the blind in independent travel are discussed in this paper. Space perception abilities important for mobility of the visually impaired are outlined and basic concepts such as: cognitive mapping, wayfinding and navigation are explained. Sensory substitution methods and interfaces for non-visual presentation of the obstacles and communicating navigational data are addressed. Current projects under way and available technologies aiding the blind in key mobility tasks such as: obstacle avoidance, orientation, navigation and travel in urban environments are reviewed and discussed. Special attention is paid to a class of teleassistance systems in which an operator at a remote site is capable of guiding the visually impaired. Finally, results of trials of the teleassistance system with participation of blind volunteers are reported.
KeywordsObstacle Avoidance Mobile Terminal Blind Person Blind User Remote Operator
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