Artificial intelligence lenses for the blind created

May 20, 2014

Combining computational geometry, artificial intelligence, geo and ultrasound techniques, among others, scientists from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) created a device to help people with low vision or blindness to navigate more easily.

This project, developed in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, began formally in 2009, and in less than five years a prototype was created and is about to be transferred to the technology company Qualtop, said Eduardo José Bayro Corrochano, project leader.

The navigation device consists of glasses with stereo sound sensors, GPS technology and a tablet, which guides the blind person to a specific point and avoids hitting static or moving obstacles, also recognizes money bills of various denominations, and color of clothing.

The expert, who also developed the first inexpensive humanoid robot in Mexico called Mexone, said it was from progress made during his research in robotics that he considered using stereoscopic vision algorithms in a guiding device for people with visual disability.

The idea came from a doctoral thesis at the CINVESTAV on the use of stereoscopic vision lenses designed for people with blindness. To do this, the researchers went to the School for Blind Girls in Guadalajara, which addresses this type of disabilities, in order to meet the needs of the visually impaired.

It was after the financial support of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) in 2012 and 2013 when they could accelerate the development of the lens, set the hardware, adapt processors and try different types of sensors used in the device.

"We currently have a light weight, ergonomically acceptable prototype since it almost looks like a normal pair of glasses and can work in real time with batteries that last approximately four hours in continuous use. We hope to have a commercial prototype by next August at the latest, and being able to market it in early 2015," Bayro Corrochano said, who is also a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences.

Researcher at the CINVESTAV estimate that the commercial product would cost between ten and fifteen hundred dollars ($13,000- $19,500 Mexican pesos), and consist of the glasses with sensors and a tablet from which a voice would tell directions and/or warnings.

Bayro Corrochano

Although globally there are similar devices, says Bayro Corrochano, the development at Cinvestav combines new algorithms and technology which makes it unique. For example, the use of to detect translucent obstacles, like glass, or the use of (machine learning) in order to recognize places, signs and objects. These glasses are also useful for those with poor eyesight, as they help to improve perception.

The project has generated two patents at the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, and the developers are looking for investors interested in participating in large-scale production.

Explore further: Technology platform designed to produce second generation biofuels

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The virtual keyboard may soon be a reality (w/ Video)

May 07, 2014

Today we are constantly online and integrated in a virtual existence. Wii and other game modules make it possible to engage the entire body when playing, and soon Google Glasses and similar products will ...

Research team uses robot eye technology to help the blind

May 02, 2012

(Phys.org) -- A research team from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris have ported technology originally developed to help robots maneuver in real world environments to Braille enabled devices that help vision impaired ...

Recommended for you

LiquidPiston unveils quiet X Mini engine prototype

Nov 21, 2014

LiquidPiston has a new X Mini engine which is a small 70 cubic centimeter gasoline powered "prototype. This is a quiet, four-stroke engine with near-zero vibration. The company said it can bring improvements ...

Novel robotic walker helps patients regain natural gait

Nov 21, 2014

Survivors of stroke or other neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and Parkinson's disease often struggle with mobility. To regain their motor functions, these patients ...

Tomorrow's degradable electronics

Nov 20, 2014

When the FM frequencies are removed in Norway in 2017, all old-fashioned radios will become obsolete, leaving the biggest collection of redundant electronics ever seen – a mountain of waste weighing something ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.