Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Computer vision for the blind


The white cane used by the blind as a travel aid may be universal, but it is not always adequate when it comes to pedestrian crossings. Although some crossings make a sound when it is safe to cross, many do not, and it is at these crossings that the blind need to know when the green man is showing. Adaptations of the white cane have been made, which use laser or ultrasonic waves to detect more distant obstacles, but they do not give information about the width of the road or colour of the traffic lights. Professor Shioyama and his colleagues at Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan have developed a new method to assist the blind in such a situation. Published today in the Institute of Physics journal, Measurement Science and Technology, the device can measure the length of a crossing to within one step length and detect the colour of the traffic light.

Using images from a single camera, the device has a simple structure and does not need camera calibration, unlike sophisticated stereo camera systems, as the information is obtained using what is known as a “camera coordinate system”. This means that separate images do not need to be taken to calibrate the device. The length of a pedestrian crossing is measured by projective geometry, where the camera makes an image of the white lines painted on the road. Using the properties of geometric shapes as seen in the image, the actual distances are determined. Experiments carried out by the researchers showed that the crossing length could be measured to within an error of only 5 percent of the full length – which is less than one step.

The new device can also “see” the colour of the traffic light, even if the person is moving and the image changes. Together, the information gathered by this device will be enough to allow a blind person to know whether or not it is safe to cross a pedestrian crossing.

Prof Shioyama said:
“Travel aids that use laser and ultrasonic waves cannot obtain enough information about the user’s environment. This device is the first step in developing a system which allows the blind to cross the road safely and independently. We hope that the work in this article stimulates the development of such devices to assist the blind.”

Michelle Cain | alfa

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Applying electron beams to 3-D objects
23.09.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

nachricht New process for cell transfection in high-throughput screening
21.03.2016 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>