Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a new system employing a three-dimensional camera, a belt with five separately controlled vibrational motors, and an electronically refreshable Braille interface to help visually impaired users navigate their environments.
The camera is worn in a pouch hung around the neck, while a processing unit runs the researchers' proprietary algorithms. One algorithm quickly identifies surfaces and their orientations from camera data, grouping pixels into clusters of three, each of which determines a plane. Should the orientations of the planes defined by five nearby clusters be within 10 degrees of each other, the system concludes that it has pinpointed a surface.
To identify chairs, the system must complete three individual surface identifications in the same general area.
The surfaces must be approximately parallel to the ground, and fall within a prescribed range of heights.
From MIT News
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