Sunday, April 08, 2007

3-D virtual maps for the blind

Moving closer to a computer interface for the blind ...

"According to Scientific American in "Virtual Maps for the Blind," Greek researchers have developed a system to convert videos into touchable maps for the blind. These 3-D haptic maps "use force fields to represent walls and roads so the visually impaired can better understand the layout of buildings and cities." The researchers also built a system which converts 2-D paper maps into 3-D street maps. The systems have already been tested on a small number of users. Now, the two systems need to be integrated into a portable device before being widely distributed.

These systems have been developed at the Informatics and Telematics Institute (ITI), located at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, by a team of researchers led by Konstantinos Moustakas.

Below is a diagram of a hardware prototype showing the integration of a Phantom Desktop, from SensAble Technologies, Inc. and a CyberGrasp from Immersion Corporation. This figure "presents the interconnection between the devices. The Phantom device is connected to the application PC via a parallel port. CyberGlove and CyberGrasp are connected to the CyberGrasp main unit via the Device Control Unit (DCU) and the Force Control Unit (FCU), respectively. Finally, the CyberGrasp main unit and the application PC are connected together using a 100Mbps Ethernet line."    (Continued via Technology Trends)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Phantom Cybergrasp Integration - Ergonomics

Phantom Cybergrasp Integration

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