[Nfbmo] Fw: [MSB-Alumni] Students Develop Smart Cane

fred olver goodfolks at charter.net
Tue Aug 11 16:21:53 UTC 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve" <k8sp at sbcglobal.net>
To: "msb-alumni" <msb-alumni at googlegroups.com>
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 8:59 AM
Subject: [MSB-Alumni] Students Develop Smart Cane

> August 3, 2009
> Students Develop Cane With E-Tags to Guide Blind
> Filed at 3:33 p.m. ET
> DETROIT (AP) -- A cane equipped with the technology that
> retailers use to tag merchandise could help blind people avoid obstacles.
> An engineering professor and five students at Central Michigan University
> have created a ''Smart Cane'' to read electronic navigational tags
> installed between buildings to aid the blind in reaching their
> destinations more easily.
> ''This project started as a way for me to teach students to see
> and understand the ways that engineering can be used for the greater
> good,''said Kumar Yelamarthi, the professor and project leader. ''We
> wanted to do something that would help people and make our campus more
> accessible.''
> During the spring term, Yelamarthi and five senior engineering
> students tested the cane, which is equipped with Radio Frequency
> Identification technology, similar to what retailers put on products to
> keep
> them from being stolen.
> The Smart Cane contains an ultrasonic sensor that is paired with a
> miniature navigational system inside a messenger-style bag worn across
> the
> shoulder.
> For the test, the students installed identification tags between two
> buildings on the campus in Mount Pleasant, Mich.. A speaker
> located on the bag strap gave audio alerts when the system detected an
> obstacle
> and told the user which direction to move.
> Students wearing glasses that simulate visual impairment tested the cane.
> The students also created a vibrating glove to assist those who
> are both visually and hearing-impaired.
> Yelamarthi said it's one of the first outdoor applications of
> RFID and said he plans for students in upcoming classes to further refine
> the
> system while he seeks grants to speed the research.
> The next step probably involves using the system in a wider area.
> Down the ine, Yelamarthi wants to work toward integrating the Smart
> Cane's data with GPS.
> Copyright 2009 The Associated Press
> Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day.
> Give a man religion and he'll die praying for a fish.
> Steve
> Lansing, MI
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