Under 18 Age Group


We were inspired to do this project because we wanted to help the blind and visually impaired lead as normal a life as possible and to have equity despite being visually disabled. Our programs allows these people to navigate their way around their surroundings much easier without the aid of a guide. Even though our project is named Nearsighted Navigation, this project is directed to many people including the blind, visually impaired and even regular people who don't want to get lost in a building.

What it does

Our programs take in a maze with 0s representing walls and 1s representing spaces for one to move in.

First Program:

Input: N M startingx startingy endingx endingy M rows and N columns of 0s and 1s

Output: size of shortest path the shortest path with specific coordinates where (0, 0) is the top left and y is the row and x is the column

Second Program

Input: output of the first program + the speed at which you are walking in m/s

Output: outputs the directions (turn left, turn right, continue forward) at the correct time intervals

Our website mockup, demonstrates the pages that we would have and where you would input the information and where the output would be.

How we built it

In terms of our two programs, our first program is written in C++ and takes advantage of a breadth first search (BFS), an algorithm that specializes in finding the shortest path of two nodes. Our second program is in Java and it uses TimeUnit library to delay the program for a given amount of seconds in order to get directions to output in a timely manner.

Challenges we ran into

The hardest thing for us was figuring out what we can make that suits all of us. We were very backend focused so we wanted to create something that was more algorithmical and so we came up with an algorithmical approach to solve our problem which was trying to help blind people live a normal life.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The accomplishments that we're most proud of is definitely learning BFS and the whole concept of maze traversal. Even though we weren't able to create an actual website, we were also very proud of the website mockup that we created and we think that it captures our vision very well.

What we learned

As stated multiple times, we learned a lot about BFS and other types of algorithms. We played with Lee Algorithm a little bit and even some DFS before arriving at the conclusion that BFS would be the optimal solution. In addition, we also learned a lot about our topic, vision impairments. The statistics that we found educated us in other people less fortunate in the world and we wanted to help them live a better life.

What's next for Nearsighted Navigation

Definitely to try and make a functioning website. Our mockup was a great depiction of what we wanted our website to look like and we will all try and learn some web developement for the future. After this, we also want the website to be less manual, instead of inputing the 1s and 0s ourselves, we want the computer to be able to use a machine learning algorithm and sense which squares are darker than others and therefore label that coordinate as a 0.

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