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Stay on Track! Support System to Help the Visually Impaired Navigate Tactile Paving

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An example of tactile paving.

Scientists at Japan's Shibaura Institute of Technology have developed a new image processing algorithm that can more accurately detect tactile paving.

Credit: Getty Images

A support system to help the visually impaired navigate tactile paving developed by scientists at Japan's Shibaura Institute of Technology includes an image processing algorithm designed to make paving detection independent of pre-defined color thresholds.

The algorithm uses a Hough line transform to find the paving's borders, then studies the color distribution in a small area near the path's center.

After statistically determining an appropriate threshold for the current frame and producing an image mask that marks the tactile paving, the algorithm de-noises the data to generate a clear image.

Shibaura's Chinthaka Premachandra said, "The proposed system correctly detected tactile paving 91.65% of the time in both indoor and outdoor environments under varying lighting conditions, which is a markedly higher accuracy than previous camera-based methods with fixed thresholds."

From Shibaura Institute of Technology (Japan)
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