A new assistive device for the visually impaired

A new assistive device for the visually impaired

This AI-based system offers a simple electronic guidance embedded vision system which is configurable and efficient

The human eye is a marvel of biological engineering. It is the most complex and sophisticated structure in the body, with a range of functions that go far beyond what your brain can do. It has a number of different parts that work together to help us see and process information about our surrounding environment. The eyes play a very important role in any life form, because any matter can be seen only through our eyes. People who cannot see face difficulties in day-to-day activities.
There are some who are put to test in this world with blindness and other visual impairments. It is one of the most difficult things anyone can deal with. Imagine not being able to see! How would you get around? How would you work? How would you live your life if you cannot see anything at all? It is a very difficult thing to do and it takes some people longer than others to adjust. These people are often treated differently than others, and it can be hard for them to live an independent life.
The reading problem is solved by Braille, which is a system of representing characters by raised dots. A walking stick is another effective invention for the blinds that allows the user to scan the surroundings for obstacles and orientation marks. Besides all this, a glove is made that vibrates/beeps whenever there is an obstacle around, it also tells the distance of the object from the user. But this is not enough for blind people to live comfortably. Instead, a more accurate form of this glove needs to be made.
The proposed design is based on image processing, instead of using sensors that make the glove beep. This device tells (specifically) which obstacle is at what distance using image processing. The obstacle name has to be fed into the memory of the glove. Now as this glove has image processing, unlike sensors and ultrasound in the previously invented glove, it will help in the recognition of the person in front of the blind. Through a click of a button, the glove will be able to say aloud the colour of the object. If the user is lost then the glove will be able to send the location of the user to the guardian or close friends.
The solution is unique and different because the glove invented till now used sensors and ultrasound, but this device has a feature of image processing which makes it more useful for the user. Some devices called assistive devices have already been developed. These devices allow the user to feel what is going on around them. They are not perfect yet very helpful for those who cannot see at all. One of the devices has been designed by us and it is called the “Third Eye for Blind”.
In today’s world, disability of any kind for any person can be hard. Same is the case with blindness. Blind people are generally underprivileged. It is very difficult to give vision to a blind person. The aim of this project was to make a device that will help a blind person to sense things around them. We started with an idea, then we came up with a rough plan and finally we made it happen. In this project, we used the principle of image recognition, which is the ability of software to identify objects, places, people, writing and actions in images. The output is converted into an audio signal which is transmitted to earphones and is heard by the person. The device has also Google Assistant mode which gives them an audio experience of the internet.
Some work has to be done to increase the response speed, accuracy and precision. Some other features are also planned, like facial recognition, vocal recognition, currency recognition and GPS tracking. Taking the budget into the consideration, we tried our best to make it cost-effective and affordable. We also tried to make it as simple as possible so that anyone could use it without any difficulty.
There are many assistive devices already, like sticks, ultrasonic devices, etc., but they are either unreliable or expensive. They are not the most suitable devices for everyone and have their own limitations when it comes to using them. So, we decided to make a device that can help people with visual impairment without any difficulty. The gadget makes their life easier in navigation, object detection and identification, face recognition, easy access to google assistance. This AI-based system offers a simple electronic guidance embedded vision system which is configurable and efficient. We made this device by considering all the aspects of the life of a person who is visually impaired and added features that would help them with daily tasks.

P.S. I am very thankful to my guide, Mr. Nittin Verma, who helped me during this project.

The writer is a B.Tech in Electronics & Communications from MIET, Jammu. [email protected]

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