[Art_beyond_sight_educators] home builder, maps

fnugg at online.no fnugg at online.no
Fri Oct 5 12:31:41 UTC 2012


Article and video about a builder who is blind - very interesting.



Sensing systems for robots could help blind navigate

The technologies that help robots navigate their surroundings are being 
adapted to help blind people to move about indoor and outdoor spaces 

/New Scientist/ reports 
of a 3-D navigation system for the blind being developed at the 
Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics 
<http://www.isir.upmc.fr/index.php> at the Pierre and Marie Curie 
University in Paris, France. It consists of a pair of glasses equipped 
with cameras and sensors like those used in robot exploration, and a 
handheld electronic Braille device.

The system produces a 3-D map of the wearer's environment and his/her 
position within it that is constantly updated and displayed in a 
simplified form on the handheld device.

It uses a collection of accelerometers and gyroscopes that keeps track 
of the user's location and speed. This information is combined with the 
image to determine the user's position in relation to other objects. The 
system generates roughly 10 maps every second, which are transmitted to 
the handheld Braille device to be displayed as a dynamic tactile map.

The system could eventually allow blind people to make their way, 
unaided, wherever they want to go, according to Edwige Pissaloux, a 
researcher working on the project. She told /New Scientist/:

Blind Abilene man celebrating successful homebuilding business

In many ways, Tim Ellis is just like every other homebuilder. He 
oversees construction, shops for the best prices on materials, meets 
with clients, cuts checks for subcontractors.

But while most builders get to look upon a completed project with pride, 
seeing the fruits of months of labor in the form of a brand new house, 
all Ellis sees is darkness.

The 37-year-old Big Country native has been blind for more than a decade 
now, but it hasn't stopped him from pursuing a career that most would 
reserve only for the sighted.

He's the co-owner of Cornerstone Custom Homes, a homebuilding company he 
and his business partner Matt Loudermilk started three years ago. It's a 
venture both men were warned not to pursue, but even with the odds 
against them, their client list and number of construction sites have 
grown each year.


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