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- The first wearable technology for blinds

- Using ultrasonic waves to detect the obstacles

- Notifying the user through vibrations/buzzer sound

Third eye for blinds is an innovation which helps the blinds people to navigate with speed and confidence by detecting the nearby obstacles using the help of ultrasonic waves and notify them with buzzer sound or vibration. They only need to wear this device as a band or cloth.

According to WHO 39 million peoples are estimated as blinds worldwide. They are suffering a lot of harder ship in there daily life.The affected ones have been using the traditional white cane for many years which although being effective, still has a lot of disadvantages. Another way is, having a pet animal such as a dog, but it is really expensive. So the aim of the project is to develop a cheap and more efficient way to help visually impaired to navigate with greater comfort, speed and confidence.

Watch the video of it's working.

Watch the video that came in a news channel (Malayalam language)


Novelty of the project
This is the first wearable technology for blinds which resolves all the problems of existing technologies. Now a days there are so many instruments and smart devices for visually impaired peoples for navigation but most of them have certain problems for carrying and the major drawbacks is those need a lot of training to use. The one of the main peculiarity of this innovation is, it is affordable for everyone, the total cost being less than $25 (~1500INR). There are no such devices available in the market that can be worn like a cloth and having such a low cost and simplicity. When used on a large scale, with improvements in the prototype, it will drastically benefit the community.

Step 1: Existing Systems

1.White cane

2.Pet dog

3.Smart devices (eg : Vision a torch for blinds)

Problem of the Existing Systems:
* White cane - May easily crack/break,The stick may get stuck at pavement cracks of different objects.

* Pet dog - Huge cost. (~$42,000 / 280000Rs )

* Common Disadvantages (Including the the smart devices) Cannot be carried easily, needs a lot of training to use…

The features of Third eye for blinds:

By wearing this device they can fully avoid the use of white cane and such other devices. This device will help the blind to navigate without holding a stick which is a bit annoying for them. They can simply wear it as a band or cloth and it can function very accurately and they only need a very little training to use it.

Step 2: Full Description of the Project

I have designed a special wearable device based on the arduino board which can be worn like a cloth for blinds. This device is equipped with five ultrasonic sensors, consisting of five modules which are connected to the different parts of the body. Among them, two for both shoulder, another two for both knees and one for the hand. Using the five ultrasonic sensors, blind can detect the objects in a five dimensional view around them and can easily travel anywhere. When the ultrasonic sensor detects obstacle the device will notify the user through vibrations and sound beeps. The intensity of vibration and rate of beeping increases with decrease in distance and this is a fully automated device.

Feature improvements

The entire project can be made in the form of jacket, so that the device doesn't need to be wear one by one. Use of specially designed boards instead of arduino and high quality ultrasonic sensors makes faster response which make the device capable of working in crowded.

Step 3: Tested Successfully With the Help of a Visually Impaired Person.

Read more about this here in the FB post by our school science teacher.

Awards won for this innovation.

  1. 1st price for PPT innovation award
  2. 2nd price in state level science fair. (Conducted by Government of Kerala)

Step 4: Prototyping of the Idea - Parts Used

Materials

  • 5 x Arduino pro mini
  • 5 x Ultrasonic sensor
  • 5 x Perfboard
  • 5 x Vibrating motor
  • 5 x Buzzers
  • 5 x Red LEDs
  • 5 x Switches
  • Male and female header pins
  • 4 x Jumper cable
  • One power bank
  • One 3.3 volt old mobile battery
  • Some elastics and stickers(to make it as a band for wearing)

Step 5: Circuit Diagram

Wiring instruction.

Ground of LED, buzzer and vibration motor to GND of arduino

+ve of LED and middle leg of switch to Arduino pin 5

+ve of Buzzer to first leg of switch

+ve of Vibration motor to third leg of switch

Ultrasonic sensor

Ultrasonic sensor pin VCC - Arduino pin VCC

Ultrasonic sensor pin GND - Arduino pin GND

Ultrasonic sensor pin Trig - Arduino pin 12

Ultrasonic sensor pin Echo - Arduino PIN 12

The switch used here is for selecting the mode. ( buzzer or vibration mode.)


Figure 2 - Powering the modules - Connect the 4 arduino pro mini to a USB male pin and connect to a power bank. For the module in the hand use a small lithium battery.

Step 6: Making the Modules

  1. First cut the pref board in 5 X 3 cm dimension and solder the female headers for the arduino to the board.
  2. Then solder the buzzer.
  3. Then connect the vibrating motor using the glue gun and solder wires to it.
  4. Then connect the LED.
  5. Then connect the switch.
  6. Then connect header pins for ultrasonic sensors and for battery input.
  7. Then solder everything as shown in the circuit diagram.
  8. Now connect the arduino and ultrasonic sensor to the board

Also connect the elastic band to all the modules.

3 more modules are to be made in the same way us described above, but for the one in the hand, there is a little difference. visit the next step before making that last module.

Step 7: Code + Making the Module for the Hand

  1. Connect the ultrasonic sensor to the board by using 4 jumper cables.
  2. Then connect a 3.7 volt mobile battery to this module.
  3. Then connect the elastic band as shown in the figure.

At last upload the code to each arduino board and power the 4 other modules using a power bank.

Code used in the arduino -

  //VISIT : www.robotechmaker.com

  const int pingTrigPin = 12; //Trigger connected to PIN 7   
  const int pingEchoPin = 10; //Echo connected yo PIN 8   
  int buz=5; //Buzzer to PIN 4   
  void setup() {   
  Serial.begin(9600);   
  pinMode(buz, OUTPUT);   
  }   
  void loop()   
  {   
  long duration, cm;   
  pinMode(pingTrigPin, OUTPUT);   
  digitalWrite(pingTrigPin, LOW);   
  delayMicroseconds(2);   
  digitalWrite(pingTrigPin, HIGH);   
  delayMicroseconds(5);   
  digitalWrite(pingTrigPin, LOW);   
  pinMode(pingEchoPin, INPUT);   
  duration = pulseIn(pingEchoPin, HIGH);   
  cm = microsecondsToCentimeters(duration);   
  if(cm<=50 && cm>0)   
  {   
  int d= map(cm, 1, 100, 20, 2000);   
  digitalWrite(buz, HIGH);   
  delay(100);   
  digitalWrite(buz, LOW);   
  delay(d);  
  }   
  Serial.print(cm);    
  Serial.print("cm");   
  Serial.println();   
  delay(100);   
  }   
  long microsecondsToCentimeters(long microseconds)   
  {   
  return microseconds / 29 / 2;   
  }   
   
<p>Nice idea man but i see that in different part of world people keep having the same ideas. I have a project which is very similar to yours but is mostly based on sensors on head and ankles. Can you tell me how much time did you spend on it from having idea to making a &quot;final&quot; prototype? I spend more than a year on trying to bring my device to perfection and showing it on various contests so i'm just curious. ;)</p>
<p>It also takes a lot of time to complete the project, from the formation of the idea to the prototyping. About 6 months along with some other projects. :)</p>
Great pioneering project, thanks for posting
<p>Thank you!</p>
<p>This is really impressive, you got my vote!</p>
<p>Thank you very much!</p>
<p>This is an awesome project, but maybe get a patent or something? idk it just seems like if it is really important tech, it may get stolen by someone else</p>
The present copyright protection is sufficient.
very good and inspiring<br><br>TNX
<p>Nice idea man but i see that people keep on having the same ideas all around the world. How much time did you spent making this prototype? For how much time i mean like from the first idea to this stage of prototyping. I'm asking because i made something similar but mostly based on Head and Ankles and i'm showing it on various contests for like a year or something so i'm just curious. Maybe i will also make an instructable of my project and we can share some ideas or something ;) Keep up Your good work! </p>
Great to see another iteration of an existing concept! This has been around since the 70s, and now with the reduced cost of sensors &amp; microprocessors we can finally make it economically viable for those in need! And it's wonderful that more people are engaging with this kind of solution. With the advancements of battery technology, I would suggest you convert it into a single node. Reducing the size would improve wearabilty and range of location - the best version of this was a silicone watch I saw. Refinement is key to getting it in the everyday lives of people. Instead of spending money on patents, I would suggest a creative commons license is enough. This will allow for your development and also the innovation of others to continue this conversation in wearable assistive technology. Again, great work and keep it up, together we can help one another better than alone!
<p>Hey, I think the existing one is the band like product but my concept is different, it is a jacket which they can wear as simple as cloth (Pls read all steps). If it is an existing one, interested in knowing more about that. Using a single node they can't ditect obstacles all around them also the pits and small objects on the ground, only the obstacles infront of them. And we can reduce the size at the time of product design.(Actually I am not yet tried to getting a patent or applied for that.) Anyway thank you for the suggestions. :)</p>
Also, just to add, while those sensors are cheap, they are not reliable and long lasting. Redundancy and reliability is very important in technology people will trust their life with! Sadly the good sensors increase the price significantly. And to throw away a sensor after it breaks is not the best environmental approach.
<p>This is only a prototype, I have already discribed that it will need a lot of improvements. Yes the more accurate sensor are little more cost, it can be resolved when we produced this in industrial level.</p>
<p>Great instructable, thank you for sharing. You may want to consider changing the name, &quot;blinds&quot; in English is something you put on your window, like curtains.</p><p>&quot;Third eye for the blind&quot; would be a better name.</p>
<p>Thank you very much for the suggestion.</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am Azhar living in India. I am a blogger, maker, hacker and more :) to see my more projects visit my blog robotechmaker.com. I ... More »
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