There are over 7 million blind people in the US alone, and currently their best option for guidance is having help from a seeing eye dog or a friend. Seeing eye dogs can be high-maintenance and expensive, so we aimed to provide an alternative solution. The Robotic Seeing Eye Dog is inexpensive and low-maintainence. Unlike a dog it does not require food or a walk, and it can be turned off when it is not being used.

How it works

The Robotic Seeing Eye Dog has two ultrasonic sensors mounted on servos, which can swivel to get a full view of the space in front of it. The robot attempts to reach its set destination while avoiding obstacles and returning to its path. Using encoders the robot can tell how far it has traveled and in what direction it is heading.

Challenges I ran into

We had some trouble figuring out the wiring and code.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are proud to have made a prototype for something that could one day help a lot of people.

What I learned

Some of our more inexperienced members learned about programming in C++ and working with robot code.

What's next for Robotic Seeing Eye Dog

The robot could be made more user friendly for the blind and functionality could be added. We would make it bigger so it could better navigate obstacles, and we would give it GPS so it could map long-distance routes. We would have to design an intuitive interface and give it a "learning mode" where it could be taught new routes to follow.

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