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.
Michelle Cain | alfa
Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
A laser for divers
03.05.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.
Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
29.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.06.2017 | Life Sciences
29.06.2017 | Health and Medicine