Thirty-eight million people are visually impaired in the world. They encounter many disadvantages in mobility due to vision loss, which poses significant challenges when navigating unstructured environments. Conventional travel aids conveying simple tactile feedback to the visually impaired, such as fixed-length canes, provide limited ability to detect obstacles in a relatively limited distance. As a result, it can be difficult for the visually impaired to navigate smoothly using a cane.

Much research effort has been focused on developing electronic travel aids (ETAs). Computer vision-based ETAs [1–5] aim to help guide the user using specialized landmarks or predetermined features. The robustness of such devices is still questionable; for instance, the devices fail to provide navigation in scenarios lacking visual cues or repetitive features [1]. ETAs based on different sensing principles have been presented in literature to overcome these drawbacks. Palleja et al....

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