THIRD EYE FOR THE BLIND

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

  • The first wearable technology for blinds
  • Using ultrasonic waves to detect the obstacles
  • Notifying the user through vibrations/buzzer sound      



Position of the module in the human body




Third eye for blinds is an innovation to help blind people to navigate with greater comfort, speed and confidence, while making use of ultrasonic waves to detect nearby obstacles and to notify the user through vibrations and beeps of a buzzer. The idea was inspired from bats, which also use sound waves of high frequency to move. According to an estimate, there are 285 million visually impaired people in the world. The loss of one ,the most important human senses causes them a lot of hardships in daily life. The affected ones have been using the traditional white cane for many years which although being effective, still has a lot of disadvantages. Another way is, having a pet animal such as a dog which is not very common, for being comparatively expensive. So the aim of this project is to develop a new, cheap, yet more efficient way to help the visually impaired navigate with more speed and confidence.

Watch the video of it's working.



Watch the video that came in a news channel (Malayalam language)

 


Novelty of the proposal

This is the first wearable technology for blinds which resolves all the problems of existing technologies. Now a days there are so many instruments and smart devices for visually impaired peoples for navigation but most of them have certain problems for carrying and the major drawbacks are : Those need a lot of training to use. The one of the main peculiarity of this innovation is, it is affordable for everyone, the total cost being less than $25 (~1500INR).
There are no such devices available in the market that can be worn like a cloth and having such a low cost and simplicity. When used on a large scale, with improvements in the prototype, it will drastically benefit the community.

Existing Systems

1.White cane
2.Pet dog
3.Vision a torch for blinds

Problem of the Existing Systems:
White cane
- May easily crack/break.
- The stick may get stuck at pavement cracks of different objects.
Pet dog
- Huge cost. (~$42,000 / 280000Rs )
Common Disadvantages (Including the ‘vision’ the smart device)
Cannot be carried easily, needs a lot of training to use… The features of Third eye for blinds: By wearing this device they can fully avoid the use of white cane and such other devices. This device will help the blind to navigate without holding a stick which is a bit annoying for them. They can simply wear it as a band or cloth and it can function very accurately and they only need a very little training to use it.

FULL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT

I have designed a special wearable device based on the arduino board (the microcontroller programmed using C++) which can be worn like a cloth for blinds. This device is equipped with five ultrasonic sensors, consisting of five modules which are connected to the different parts of the body. Among them ,two for both shoulder, another two for both knees and one for the hand. Using the five ultrasonic sensors, blind can detect the objects in a five dimensional view around them and can easily travel anywhere. When the ultrasonic sensor detects obstacle the device will notify the user through vibrations and sound beeps. The intensity of vibration and rate of beeping increases with decrease in distance and this is a fully automated device.
Images of the five modules
Position of the module in the human body


Why Ultrasonic Sensors?
 - Accurate calculations.
 - Can be used inside/outside.
 - Does not get affected with external sources such as sunlight.
 - Does not refract/does not pass through.



Why NOT Infra-red Sensors? 

One of the major reasons being that infra-red sensors are not very accurate as compared to ultrasonic ones, I didn't use them for the purpose of detecting obstacles. Moreover, it also doesn't work well in bright sunlight conditions/outdoors and will also pass through transparent objects

CONCLUSION

The project as a whole was successful in developing a more durable navigation technique apart from the existing ones. This was just a prototype of the original idea that had to be presented here. The project, if used on a wider scale and distributed to blind people, really has the ability to make an impact to the community. The best part is that the parts' cost doesn't exceed 1800rs thus making it affordable by everyone.
Drawbacks:

- This device cannot be used in crowded. The present technology of this project doesn't allow it to be used at places which may require very fast responses.
Future Improvements:
- The entire project can also be made in the form of jacket, so that the device doesn't need to be wear one by one.
- Make the device much smaller by use of surface mounted components (SMD) and avoid spacing between the parts.
- Use Lithium Polymer battery instead of Lithium ion to provide greater power with less weight.
- Use of specially designed boards instead of arduino makes faster response.

Tested successfully with the help of a visually impaired person


Read more about this here in the FB post by our school science teacher.
Awards won for this innovation.
  1. 1st price for PPT innovation award
  2. 2nd price in state level science fair. (Conducted by Government of Kerala)

The prototyping of the idea >>>> Parts used

Electronic parts

Mechanical parts

The elastic and the sticker used for make the device as band to wear in there body.

Materials


  • 5 x Arduino pro mini
  • 5 x Ultrasonic sensor
  • 5 x Pref board
  • 5 x Vibrating motor
  • 5 x Buzzers
  • 5 x Red LEDs
  • 5 x Switches
  • Male and female header pins
  • One power bank.
  • 3.3 Volt old mobile battery.
  • 4 x Jumper cable
  • Some elastics and (to make it as a band for wearing)

Circuit diagram

Circuit diagram
Wiring instruction.
Ground of LED, buzzer and vibration motor to GND of arduino
+ve of LED and middle leg of switch to Arduino pin 5
+ve of Buzzer to first leg of switch
+ve of Vibration motor to third leg of switch
Ultrasonic sensor
Ultrasonic sensor pin VCC - Arduino pin VCC
Ultrasonic sensor pin GND - Arduino pin GND
Ultrasonic sensor pin Trig - Arduino pin 12
Ultrasonic sensor pin Echo - Arduino PIN 12
The switch used here is for selecting the mode. ( buzzer or vibration mode.)

Figure 2 - Powering the modules - Connect the 4 arduino pro mini to a USB male pin and connect to a power bank. For the module in the hand use a small lithium battery.

Making the 5 modules

First cut the pref board in 5 X 3 cm dimension and solder the female headers for the arduino to the board.

Then solder the buzzer.

Then connect the vibrating motor using ta glue gun.

Then connect the LED.


Then connect the switch.

Then connect some header pins for ultrasonic sensors and for battery input. 

Then solder everything as shown the circuit diagram.

Now connect the arduino and ultrasonic sensor to the board
Also connect the elastic band to all the modules.
3 more modules are to be made in the same way us described above, but for the one in the hand, there is a little difference. visit the next step before making that last module.

Making the module for the hand.


Connect the ultrasonic sensor to the board using 4 jumper cables.

Then connect a  3.7 volt mobile battery to this module. 

Then connect the elastic band as shown in the figure.




At last upload the code to each arduino board and power the 4 other modules using a power bank.

Code used in the arduino-

 const int pingTrigPin = 12; //Trigger connected to PIN 7  
 const int pingEchoPin = 10; //Echo connected yo PIN 8  
 int buz=5; //Buzzer breakout board to PIN 4  
 void setup() {  
 Serial.begin(9600);  
 pinMode(buz, OUTPUT);  
 }  
 void loop()  
 {  
 long duration, cm;  
 pinMode(pingTrigPin, OUTPUT);  
 digitalWrite(pingTrigPin, LOW);  
 delayMicroseconds(2);  
 digitalWrite(pingTrigPin, HIGH);  
 delayMicroseconds(5);  
 digitalWrite(pingTrigPin, LOW);  
 pinMode(pingEchoPin, INPUT);  
 duration = pulseIn(pingEchoPin, HIGH);  
 cm = microsecondsToCentimeters(duration);  
  if(cm<=50 && cm>0)  
  {  
  int d= map(cm, 1, 100, 20, 2000);  
  digitalWrite(buz, HIGH);  
  delay(100);  
  digitalWrite(buz, LOW);  
  delay(d);  
  }  
 Serial.print(cm);   
 Serial.print("cm");  
 Serial.println();  
 delay(100);  
 }  
 long microsecondsToCentimeters(long microseconds)  
 {  
  return microseconds / 29 / 2;  
 }  

CLICK BELOW  TO DOWNLOAD

Third_eye_for_blinds.inoThird_eye_for_blinds.ino



Visit here to see the version two

CLICK HERE

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11 comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. How can escape from pit with this project

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can simply detect the pits/slopes etc by the modules of the knees, we want to code it separately and place the ultrasonic sensors towards the ground. I will update it later in this tutorial page, currently I am working on the second version of 'Third eye for the Blind'

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