I wanted to improve the method of navigation for visually impaired people making it more accessible. The main idea was to prevent accidents caused by not being able to see and eliminate lack of confidence due to visual impairment.
What it does
Visual Gate is able to sense objects close to the user and notify them using a series of vibrations indicating how close the object is. To make it available to everyone, it does not use any camera. This is because camera tend to be more expensive and hence restricting the affordability of the tool. Also, it can detect gestures. Now, visual impaired will not miss waves from people they love! It also has a screen to provide customized messages to nearby pedestrians based on the situation the user is in.
How I built it
Vision Gate primarily uses the principle of echo location. Echo location is used by animals, like bats, to determine obstacles in their way. Extending this idea with the power of C and arduino, I programmed Vision Gate to use an ultrasonic sensor along with a ZX gesture sensor and vibrating motor to provide its features. An LCD screen is also attached to the gate to provide customized messages!
Challenges I ran into
Breadboarding Vision Gate was truly challenging due to the lack of pins on some of the hardware used. Not having a soldering iron was an obstacle. Also, starting and finishing the project in less than 24 hours was a GREAT challenge!
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm very proud that I was able to program the sensors to detect obstacles and gestures with a high level of accuracy. Note that I have never worked with these sensors before! This project was started and completed during EngHack 2018.
What I learned
Always plan before starting. Also, never give up on completing a project even if hundreds of problems occur!
What's next for Vision Gate
I will be working on embedding the system into a smaller printed circuit board. Also, I will be encoding more gestures to improve accessibility.