[nfb-talk] Guide Bots

Sheila Leigland sleigland at bresnan.net
Thu May 30 16:43:44 UTC 2013


hi, I had forgotten what those sonic guides were called but I remember 
seeing one and thought that they were cool. I knew there was a lot of 
money to come up with to get one and no one was sure how they would do 
in ccold weather.
On 5/29/2013 7:51 PM, Mark Tardif wrote:
> I was part of a small group of college students who tested the sonic 
> guide in the summer of 1976.  I was loaned one by our Board of 
> Education and Services for the Blind next semester. I found the same 
> thing you did, it could supplement the information provided by a cane, 
> but certainly not replace it.  My second semester using it, I got a 
> call from my mobility instructor that they had to comphiscate the 
> devices because apparently one or two of them had exploded.  I never 
> heard anything more about it.
>
> Mark Tardif
> Nuclear arms will not hold you.
> -----Original Message----- From: Ed Meskys
> Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:33 PM
> To: NFB Talk Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Guide Bots
>
> This discussion is interesting, especially the side discussion of needing
> more info than the cane gives. I became blind, instantly and totally, in
> 1971, and went to the Carroll Center (then called St. Paul's) near Boston
> four months later. I had two hours of mobility and orientation a day 
> for 15
> weeks, and came out a fairly good cane user. I was also a beta tester for
> the Sonicguide, which I really liked and made good use of. It used 
> sonar and
> had a range of 20 feet, and by stereo effect gave the direction of 
> objects
> up to 30º to either side. It was good at picking up signs and tree 
> branches.
> It picked up up curbs, but not down curbs. It was NOT a replacement for a
> cane, but supplemented it, giving me a better idea of my surroundings. 
> Pitch
> told you distance, and in a hallway the near and far edges of a 
> doorway had
> a distinct chord. You could count doorways on both sides as you walked 
> down
> a corridor. A metal lamppost had a different sound from the rough bark 
> of a
> tree. When it eventually died, I looked into buying a production model,
> which I tested, and which was better than my beta. Unfortunately it cost
> about $2K, a very large amount in the mid-70s, so I did not buy it. It
> failed because it was so expensive, and it took a hard learning curve to
> master it. Also, my primary mobility tool is a dog guide, so that removed
> some of the need for it. However I still wish I could have afforded it at
> the time.
>
> Ed Meskys
>
>
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