A Wearable Walking-Aid System For Visual-Impaired People Based on Monocular Top-View Transform

Conference paper


This paper presents a wearable system which can provide walking-aids for visual-impaired people in an outdoor environment. Unlike many existing systems that rely on stereo cameras or combination of other sensors, the proposed system aims to do the job by using just single camera mounted at user’s belly. One of the main difficulties of using single camera in outdoor navigation task is the discrimination of obstacles with cluttered background. To solve this problem, this paper makes use of the inhomogeneous re-sampling property of top-view transform. By mapping the original image to a top-view virtual plane using top-view transform, background edges in the near-field are sub-sampled while obstacle edges in the far-field are oversampled. Morphology filters with connected component analysis are used to enhance obstacle edges as edge-blobs with larger size, whereas sparse edges from background are filtered out. Based on the identified obstacles, safe path can be estimated by tracking a polar edge-blob histogram on the top-view domain. To deliver the safe direction to the user, an audio message interface is designed. The system is tested in different outdoor scenes with complex road conditions, and its efficiency has been confirmed.


Audio guidance Monocular vision Obstacle detection Polar edge-blob histogram Top-view transform Wearable walking-aids 



This research is supported by Next-Generation Information Computing Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (No. 2012M3C4A7032182)). This work (Grants No. C0119991) is also supported by Business for Cooperative R&D between Industry, Academy, & Research Institute funded by Korea Small and Medium Business Administration in 2013.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electronic Engineering DepartmentSoongsil UniversityDongjak-GuSeoul

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