Detecting humans and objects during walking has been a very difficult problem for people with visual impairment. To safely avoid collision with any object or human and to navigate from one location to another, it is significant to know how far and what kind of obstacle the user is facing. In recent years, many researches have shown that providing different vibration stimulation can be very useful to convey important information to the user. In this paper, we present our stereovision system with high definition camera to detect and identify humans and obstacles in real time and compare it with a modified version of existing wearable haptic belt that uses high-performance Ultrasonic sensors. The aim of this paper is to present the practicability of stereovision system over cane and assistive technology such as vibrotactile belt.
The study is based on two assistive technologies. The first one consists of the vibrotactile belt connected to ultrasonic sensors and an accelerometer which returns user movement & speed information to the microcontroller. The microcontroller initiates expressive vibrotactile stimulation based on sensor data. Data gathered from this technology will be used as the baseline data for comparison with our stereovision system. Second, we present a novel approach to detect the type of obstacle using object recognition algorithm and the best approach to avoid it using the stereovision feedback. Data gathered from this technology with be comparted against the baseline data from the vibrotactile belt. In addition, we present the results of the comparative study which shows that stereovision system has plethora of advantages over vibrotactile belt.